My daughter attends a public elementary school in NSW where the children are taught French for one hour each week. In 2009, she was away from her school for one year and did not receive any French instruction during that year. When she returned, it turned out that she had not missed anything and was at exactly the same level as the children who had received an additional year of French instruction. While I’d like to pride myself on the idea that my daughter is exceptionally gifted in French, the reality is that the other children had made no progress whatsoever in that one year. As a matter of fact, after more than 3 years of French instruction, the knowledge of this particular group of children is negligible: the only “sentence” they can confidently utter is “Bonjour, Madame!” They can count from 1 to 10 with difficulty and their pronunciation of these numbers is shocking. In more than three years, they haven’t learnt a single point of French grammar and as they are not required to memorize the basic vocabulary they are taught, they have difficulty even with such basic words as color or animal terms.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)