Curriculum models and curriculum policy

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).

Curriculum models

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

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

The Companion Volume with New Descriptors (provisional Edition) is intended as a complement to the CEFR: Learning, teaching, assessment. Check out our new CEFR page!

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.

New publication:
Enever, J. (2018). Policy & Politics in Global Primary English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bibliography – curriculum models and curriculum policy

Enever, J. (2018). Policy & Politics in Global Primary English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book explores the complex forces that shape national and local language education policy-making for the early introduction of English as a foreign language at primary and pre-primary levels worldwide. This is the first book of its kind demonstrating the extent to which English is now perceived as a pre-requisite for participation in the global economy, reflecting the rapid development of early start English now exploding across Asia, Latin America and other fast-growing economies.

Enever, J. (2012). Current Policy Issues in Early Foreign Language Learnin . CEPS Journal: Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 2(3), 9.

Enever, J. (2011). Plurilingualism?: Have language-in-education policies in Europe delivered the promise?. In: Word for Word: the social, economic and political impact of Spanish and English / [ed] Philip Powell-Davies and Jaime Otero, Madrid, Spain: British Council, 2011, 195-213.

European  Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2017).   Key  Data  on  Teaching  Languages  at  School  in  Europe – 2017 Edition. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.