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  #21 (permalink)  
Unread May 15th, 2008, 05:22 am
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

I am also finding using the children's mini-whiteboards (ardoises) very useful. We put Yes on one side and No on the other in answer to questions like "is it a chair?", or I ask them to draw an item of vocabulary, or to self-assess their understanding at the end of the lesson with a smiley or sad face. You get a very quick visual check of who understands and who doesn't. I have found, for example, that one boy who really struggles with speaking English is 100% accurate when asked to draw something, so he is clearly a visual learner and I can now build on that for future lessons.
regards
Rouvrou
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  #22 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2008, 05:18 am
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hi there. I am new to this forum. I'm going to be moving to Normandy next year and I was wondering what the job prospects are like for primary school teachers. I am a fully trained primary school teacher in New Zealand and I am a confident French speaker. I'm wanting to get some idea of how I might go about finding work in a French school. So if anyone has any information or advice they would like to post for me, I would be very grateful.
Thanks.
Jimmy.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2008, 08:01 am
cjj cjj is offline
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Do you want to teach just English or become a primary school teacher here in France?
For financial reasons English in primary schools is now taught by the students’ regular teacher. To teach in primary schools you have to pass the CRPE (concours de recrutement de professeur des écoles). The following sites should be helpful.
Concours de recrutement de professeur des écoles - Wikipédia

Professeur des écoles - Wikipédia

The fact that the vast majority of these teachers don't speak English didn't seem to be a problem for the decision makers!

To teach English as a subject in either a collège or lycée you’d have to pass the concours du CAPES (Certificat d'aptitude au professorat de l'enseignement du second degré). I think you have to have either French or European nationality.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2008, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Despite the theory that English is now all being taught by class teachers it is not the reality here in Normandy or elsewhere in France as far as I know. There are still quite a lot of people (including me) working as intervenant(e) de la langue anglaise in primary schools. Most people I have met have teaching experience even though it is not essential. (Personally I wouldn't like to try it without.) The pay is very low, around 13€ an hour before deductions. You also have to pick up travel costs unless you are very lucky and I have spent a lot on printing and laminating. It is great fun though!
regards
Rouvrou
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  #25 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 24th, 2008, 01:14 pm
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hi everyone,
I am happy to have found this forum!!! I am French, and at the moment I am teaching in a primary school in London. I have graduated here in London (BA ED) and even though I am enjoying teaching here I always wondered if I would be able to teach in French primary schools if I decided to go back. After reading your posts, I am now quite positive about it. I just wanted to know how you went about it, where did you find the advert for the job, how did you apply for it, did you need extra training etc...
I am looking forward to hearing from you, especially Rouvrou as you are teaching in Normandy and this is where I'm from and where I'd like to go back to.
Thanks...
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  #26 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 25th, 2008, 01:11 am
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hello there
Applying for the job was a bit strange really. I sent an email with a brief CV to the Académie explaining that I was interested in the work. I had a letter back saying that they would be trying to employ teachers already in schools, but would contact me when there was a vacancy. I heard nothing for 18 months and was then asked to start at very short notice. The advisory teachers provide support and training courses where you meet other people doing the job. You have to pass an habilitation which involves observation by an inspector. The contracts are for 7 months, starting in the late autumn round here and you get paid for July and August. I think it is a good way to get into schools, but you are limited in the amount you can work by the need to travel between schools. I also get the impression that there may be more work for intervenants outside the big towns, but I may be wrong. I think it would be hard to make a living doing the job. I don't know how you would be placed for retraining as I get the impression that things are not as flexible in France; others may know if there is anything like the graduate teacher scheme in England. From talking to teachers in schools I think they are less well paid than in England.
Good luck anyway.
regards
Rouvrou
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  #27 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:28 pm
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Smile Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hi all! I appreciate all this discussion about TPR and teaching English in France! I have been accepted to teach in the academy of Nice this Fall (through the French Embassy here in the U.S. -- for people younger than 30 I believe is the deal here)... and I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. I have no true classroom teaching experience except for teaching about 5-6 Central American adults ESL one night a week and tutoring French here and there.
Does anyone have any tips for me or conseils?
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  #28 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 16th, 2009, 09:18 am
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hello,
Thanks a lot for all that useful information!
I'm teaching English to kids ages 4 and above and I am really interested in using signs in my lessons. is there an internet link with signs for classroom use? The AIM method is really expensive!
Best regards,
coccinelle


Quote:
Quote cjj View Post
I’ve been teaching English in French primary schools for the past ten years. I’ll try to explain « how » I teach.
My teaching is comprehension-based. I don’t think you can learn to speak a language without first understanding the language. To understand any language, we have to be exposed to it A LOT and what we are exposed to has to be comprehensible. Parents make language comprehensible when their children are learning to speak their L1. They do this naturally. They seem to know instinctively that it helps children understand if they talk about objects, people and events that can be seen, heard and touched.

A dog! Look at the dog!

I hear a bird. Listen to the bird.

Here comes the mailman.

Parents know children need lots of practice listening so they create opportunities for listening through out the day. They talk out loud about what they are doing as they perform everyday routines and tasks.

I’m cutting the tomatoes.

I’m looking for my shoes.

They also describe what their child is doing, feeling, hearing, seeing . . .

You’re so tired. It’s time for a nap.

You’re giving Teddy Bear a hug.

Parents instinctively know children need to hear the language to learn it, so they speak to their child and they help make what the child is hearing comprehensible. I do exactly the same thing in class. I begin with TPR (total physical response). The beauty of TPR is that the language is 100% comprehensible from the first class. A word can be taught through TPR if its meaning is transparent without translation. The most obvious groups of words are concrete nouns taught with props and action verbs but also many adjectives, prepositions, etc. I teach lots and lots of verbs in the first few weeks of school including, say, stand (up), sit (down), walk, stop, jump, run, swim, fly, come, come in, go, go out, stay, fall, begin, finish, drink, eat, listen, look, look at, look for, put, take, give, put on, take off, put in, take out, open, close, see, shout, cry, sing, dance, draw, write, sleep, play, work, etc. I say the word, I do the action with one or two students and then I teach the sign for the word to the entire class. I talked about signing with my classes in a previous post. Gestures, combined with teaching vocabulary in context, and constantly recycling vocabulary provides students with a language base that allows them to speak with a basic level of fluency very early on.
If you are interested in using sign language with hearing children, I recommend the following books:

Amazon.com: Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children's Literacy: Books: Marilyn Daniels

Amazon.com: Signing Exact English: Books: Gerilee Gustason,Esther Zawolkow,Donna Pfetzing,Lilian Lopez

or this website:
ASL Browser

Next, I introduce There is/are, this is, he/she/it is, I am and the verbs have, like, want, need, make/do, can, must and the question words and lots of important little words like, so, but, then, if, also. These are worked into daily conversation with the kids and the conversations become stories – usually very repetitive silly stories.
As part of our entry routine, I write a journal entry on a large pad on an easel in the front of the class. It always begins with “Today is . . .” If it is someone’s birthday or if someone has broken a bone or has a new baby brother or sister or pet or is going to Spain for the weekend that gets mentioned. This week Luc (CE2) had a new baby brother. So we wrote, “Today is Monday, February 11th. Luc has a baby brother.” Then I started asking and answering questions with the kids help. I sign a split second before I speak so the kids can speak with me as opposed to repeating after me. Does Luc have a baby sister or a baby brother? Luc has a baby brother. Who has a baby brother? Luc has a baby brother. Does Marc have a baby brother? No, Mark doesn’t have a baby brother. Luc has a baby brother. Luc, does your baby brother cry a lot? Does he sleep a lot? Does he sing or does he cry? Luc said his brother sings so we created a story about the baby singing very loudly all night and Luc can’t sleep so Luc is very, very tired. And of course the baby sings only in English not in French so we burst into song often while telling the story. Luc gets out of bed and shouts “BE QUIET” but the baby does not stop singing. The baby begins to dance. This went on for 10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes we act out the story -2 or 3 or 4 times -or draw the story on the board, anything to help make it comprehensible to everyone.

I also like to share picture books with my classes. The books can be in French because I tell the story using vocabulary they will understand and I ask a lot of questions.

By the way, I see my classes 3x30minutes/week.

Other suggested reading:
Amazon.com: How Languages Are Learned (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers S.): Books: Patsy Lightbown,Nina Spada

and anything my Stephen Krashen. “Comprehension-based” approaches are based primarily on Stephen Krashen’s Comprehensible Input (CI) theory.
Books and Articles by Stephen D Krashen

Also watch this show about a gesture-based teaching method:
Enjeux

Good luck teaching
cjj
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  #29 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 18th, 2009, 03:14 pm
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Default Re: Teaching English in French primary schools

Hi,
Interesting comments from all above. I started helping my son's class CE1 (age 7-8) last year and have stayed on to help the same teacher this year. Like Rouvrou, here in Beziers SW France, English teaching is hit and miss and depends a lot on people like me who give their time for free. We have no set text book to work from and the class teacher gives me free rein so I spend lots of time printing off things and researching lesson plans. In fact I've found that I do more English work than my son's current teacher who is an accredited English primary teacher!

Yes, I also had to have an inspector sit in on my class - she gave me mixed messages - I don't know if anyone else had that experience. On one hand she wanted me to talk exclusively in English with a class of 27 with absolutely no previous knowledge of the language (if I get blank looks I resort to some explication in French - 40 mins a week does'nt allow for much timewasting) with an emphasis on good pronouncation . Yet, she also emphasised the aims of the EU to get everyone communicating so which is more important - a good 'th' sound or role playing going to a shop?

I use the British Council site for some pointers, lots of flashcards and stories. I find at this age the kids love learning songs especially if there are actions too and we do some role play which we can normally do at the front of the class. I keep the written work to a minimum as at this age they are consolidating their mother tongue in reading and writing and I find they concentrate too much on the written and not on what I am saying.
Generally I try to keep things light and energetic as it seems to infect the kids with the same enthusiasm and we never struggle to find volunteers for games (I had lots of Simons for Simon Says last week). I also use many of my son's early books like 'We're going on a bear hunt' and "The tiger who came to tea" for either role play or vocab work.

Thanks for all the tips and happy teaching
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