Is the new 13-week course teaching would-be language teachers French enough to prepare them for their jobs?
LONDON (AFP) - Education campaigners in Britain condemned a new course allowing would-be French teachers to learn the language from scratch in just 13 weeks before being unleashed into classrooms.
`It is utterly ridiculous,` said Nick Seaton, chairman of traditionalist pressure group the Campaign for Real Education, calling the scheme `a sticking plaster solution to a massive shortage of language teachers`.
The course is designed to counter the fact that all language teachers in British schools are expected to know and be able to teach French as well as another language, which puts off many aspiring educators.
The Teacher Training Agency at Hull University, northeast England, has launched a two-year pilot scheme, titled: `Voulez-vous parler francais? - then become a modern language teacher!`
Would-be linguists, many of whom cannot speak a word of French before the course, spend 13 weeks learning the language intensively, including a two-week residential spell in France.
That's absolutely ridiculous! How can 13 weeks prepare someone to instruct children for 36 weeks (approx. the length of the American school year) on subject matter that the instructor has had no prior knowledge of? Absolutely absurd!
I think it is useful to know more than one foreign language as many share word roots etc; but i certainly don't think it should be necessary to learn french in order to teach another language. I mean you don't need to know geography inside out in order to become a history teacher.
french is one of the worst taught subjects there is. i don't understan how we can teach 2 and 3 year olds how to speak fluently but they can't teach us french! i took it for 9 years and can barely speak a work of it. i swear all it is is je tu il elle nous vous ils elles over and over again. STUUUUPID.
to what level are these teachers teaching? is it all the way up to A level, or is it just the first year or two of high school?
people say 13 weeks isn't long enough to learn a language, but if this 13 week course is sort of all day every day, then the teachers involved would probably be well equipped to teach beginner french to 30 youngsters 1 or 2 hours per week for 36 weeks.
however, if these teachers are to teach GCSE/ A-level french, then 13 weeks is a pathetic amount of time to learn a lnaguage.