Curriculum policy and curriculum models appropriate for young children
The development of policy
"The development of policy in relation to language learning at the early primary level of schooling has received only limited attention in the literature on policy studies in general, and within the framework of an emerging education policy space across Europe specifically" (Enever, 2012:9).
An increasing number of European schools are offering English as the first foreign language to young learners. English primary schools now offer languages from age 7 with French still the majority language taught.
“In 12 countries, almost all students learn a foreign language in primary education” (Eurydice 2017: 60-61).
English state schools typically lean towards the lower end of the input continuum, with awareness, encounter and subject-teaching the most commonly implemented models. On the other hand, L2 teaching in other countries tends towards the upper end of the input continuum, with subject-teaching, embedding and immersion the most frequently chosen models.
Early Language Learning in Europe
The ELLiE study gives an excellent insight into the policy and implementation processes for early foreign language learning programmes in seven European primary-school contexts, including England. It provides a detailed description of learner experiences and contexts for learning.
Current primary FL policy in England
"It is now a statutory requirement that all children from age 7 be taught a foreign language in school. "Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language." National Curriculum in England - languages programme of study at KS2
If you are interested in knowing more about curriculum policy and curriculum models appropriate for young children, and / or if you would like to join our network and contribute to the development of the pages on curriculum, please contact Janet at the address below. She will be more than happy to welcome you on board.