Friday, July 27, 2012

Making the connections

An Anglo/ Franco electronic newspaper 'Connections' has contacted me following a response I sent to an upcoming item about comparative education systems. Strange really, all the years in Educational Advisory work & Local Authority Management in the UK and I was never been asked my  opinion by the press and yet here, well that's France anything can happen & does.

So what do I say, when asked to comment on the differences? Well based on one small village school & limited private tuition it all seemed rather surreal. I talked about learning styles in both countries and the need for those differences based on the demands of  the system and  in particular the languages.

This is highly evident in French when the need for rote learning & sequential memory is vital if all those verbs, genders and conjugations are going to be learnt. Hence, weekly tests of a rote learned verbal piece and a dictation, are essential for the French children. While their counterparts over the channel would not have done this type of activity for several generations, when the uunderstanding of structure and meta-language were vogue in the earlier part of the 20th Century in England.
21st century English teaching does not see  detailed structure of language as essential; such  knowledge is balanced by viewing the style & the purpose of  the language. After all its the enjoyment of a book, the understanding of a text, the appreciation of a poem and the pleasure in communication (spoken, heard & written) which is what language is about.

So what's better,well neither its a case of balance and what works for the language in question. And for those bi-lingual children its a case of linking the method & the language. As I told the reporter," Its about making Connections"...he seemed to like that.