Academic journal article International Education Studies

Exploring the Training Needs of French Teachers in Relation to the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language in Greek Primary Schools

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Exploring the Training Needs of French Teachers in Relation to the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language in Greek Primary Schools

Article excerpt

Abstract

Nowadays, the role of the school in the formation of students-future citizens with high educational level and specialized knowledge is undeniable. The introduction of the second foreign language from the first years of schooling differentiates the school curriculum and constitutes an effective preparation of the students for the future society (Kaga, 2002:66-71.Kaga, 2004).

The present study examines the training needs of the French language teachers in the context of the teaching of the French language in Primary Education.

More specifically, it examines the training needs of the teachers as far as the preparation and design of teaching, its organization, implementation and evaluation are concerned.

The results of the research show that there is a need for systematic training of French language teachers in relation to the design, the implementation and the evaluation of teaching interventions in Primary Schools.

Keywords: Training needs, French teachers, Teaching french, Greek primary schools

1. Introduction

Multilingualism constitutes nowadays one of the basic skills necessary for the successful and effective participation in the European knowledge society. In addition, the knowledge of foreign languages contributes to the participation of people in the society and the maintenance of social cohesion in the framework of the multicultural society (Zouva,2008:85, Kamarinou, 2008:97.Kamitsi, 2009:48).

The promotion of linguistic diversity constitutes one of the priorities for education in all the European Union countries. In the member states of the European Union the teaching of foreign languages needs to start from the early years of schooling so that students-future citizens have early access to the cultural richness of the European Union member states (Kaga, 2003).

2. The Introduction of French as a Foreign Language in the Primary School

The teaching of French as a foreign language in the primary school was first introduced in the school year 2005-2006 in 219 primary schools across Greece. In total, 3516 students received instruction of the French language (Kamitsi, 2009:39). The assigning of the schools in which French was going to be taught as a foreign language was based on the following ministerial decisions: a) F.52/480/71029/G1/18-7-2005, and b) F.52/812/127372/G1/14-11-2005. For the teaching of French only primary schools with 6 or more teachers were selected.

From school year 2006-2007 onwards, the teaching of French as a foreign language was expanded to the sixth class of all primary schools with six or more teachers. From the school year 2007-2008 the teaching of the French language was introduced to the fifth and the sixth class of all primary schools with six or more teachers for two hours per week (Kamitsi, 2009:40). For the teaching of French as a foreign language in primary schools, a new analytical curriculum was developed, the philosophy of which is based on the following:

* the development of positive attitudes toward the French language and culture, so that students acquire motivation to learn the language

* the sensitization and acquaintance of students with the linguistic codes of the French language as far as comprehension and production of oral and written speech is concerned, so that students develop a conscious familiarity with the language

* The connection of the language with experiential learning, so that students gradually acquire the skills necessary for using their linguistic knowledge in real life communicative contexts (Kaga, 2008:11).

3. The Concept of Training Needs

In the international as well as the Greek bibliography, the term "training need" is defined on the basis of two different approaches: a) as the distance between an existing situation and some desired pattern, in other words, as the deficit in skills that are considered necessary for the successful implementation of a specific work, or in the equal participation in dimensions of the social life, and b) as the interest and motivation for participation in the educational process, which may be a result of subjective estimations (Xasapis, 2000. …

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