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French row over English lessons


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 Oh yeah???? English lessons in French classrooms.... same old, same old... pffftt!

Xavier Darcos is suggesting that the French should learn English. Great idea, hardly novel.

I will believe it when I see it. Someone I know (university lecturer for many years in the UK, TEFL qualifications) offered his services to all the schools/lycées in my area (about 30!), to teach or assist with English teaching. That was a few years ago, just when it was supposed to be compulsory that English be taught in primary schools. Nobody even bothered to reply to his CV and offer. I found that a little odd. Same with me, I have offered to do "soutien scolaire" (voluntarily, and I too have some teaching qualifications) in English, so far, response is total inertia. Weird or what?

So, with Mr. Darcos's new plan, who will be teaching English to keen pupils, during the school holidays?

We will have to see what happens in reality - all across the board, and not in a few well chosen locations which will look good on TV.


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Our son's young French friend is really keen to learn english from us.   He is not an A1 student either, he had many problems in school but he is an avid student nevertheless so helping him is a pleasure.   Even the little lad across the road who is 7 years old likes to use the words and phrases he has learnt in school.

I hope the French govt. is more successfull in bringing this about than No.10 was/is in doing the languages thing over there.   It will be a great boon to the lazy Anglaises here en France who cannot be bothered to learn the native tongue.

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I think the French seem to have issues generally with using languages other than French for business / international affairs etc.  I once worked on the audit of a very big multi-national.  The edict from the main Board was that all business documents / board papers were to be submitted in English.  All areas of the business complied - Portugese, Spanish, German, etc etc - except for the French who resolutely refused.  In fact they had one Board paper rejected three times because they insisted in writing it in French.  Before anyone says - typical English / Americans expecting everyone to speak their language it was a German multi national and the main board comprised predominantly native Germans.

(As an aside - a subsidiary board meeting was arranged in Paris for the same above mentioned MN...with main board members, lawyers, accountants etc flying in specifically for the meeting.  An hour after the meeting started - with still no sign of the French someone managed to get hold of them.....they were still having lunch!  In the end they arrived so late the meeting was cancelled because the other participants at the meeting had flights to catch etc!)

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