French School Emphasises Bilingual Teaching, Curriculum

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Funmi Ogundare

A French school, Lycée Français Louis Pasteur, Victoria Island, Lagos recently held an information session with parents of primary school pupils to explain the school system and elaborate on its French curriculum, making comparison with other international curricula. It also highlighted its bilingual teaching.

The Principal, Mr. Alain Berna, said the session was designed to give parents insights into how the French curriculum and education system works, adding that the increasingly competitive nature of the world today has made it more imperative that the youths are exposed to a comprehensive set of values towards preparing them for their future.

Highlighting the features of the French educational system, he said it promotes strong positive values such as freedom, equality, togetherness, respect, spirit of justice, solidarity, freedom of speech, openness, creative spirit, among others. “Pupils that pass through Lycée Français are trained to develop curiosity and courage with which they can excel in all of their chosen endeavours. At Lycée Français, parents can be assured of a teaching language that is rich, varied and efficient.”

Berna described the French Language as the paramount language of instruction, saying that it does not overshadow learning in many other languages like English, Spanish, German and others on request.

He said the school takes advantage of the diversity of its students and the languages they practice to make plurilingual education one of its priorities.

“The curriculum information session was designed for parents whose children and wards are currently in primary schools or preparing to enter primary school. The primary school is the gateway to the French school system, which is divided into the eight kindergarten classes and 14 elementary classes.”

The Director of the Primary School, Mrs. Pascale Lagleize, said its ambition is to provide all pupils, irrespective of their origin with quality, content-rich, multilingual and multicultural education, as well as universal values.

While following the French National Curriculum, Lagleize said students benefit from reinforced English teaching through the bilingual system, adding that personalised support, citizens, artistic, cultural projects, as well as numerous extra-curricular activities complement the teaching and allow pupils to learn at their own pace and to flourish.

The French curriculum presentation was facilitated by the Head of Pedagogical Training, Olivier Alfonsi. He said aside getting a certification in French Language, the pupils are also taught values and responsibilities that would enable them see life the artistic view and do discussions.

“We consider that the children we are teaching are the future therefore as citizens, it is a very important aspect of our teaching so that they can know their values and responsibilities. We have our curriculum based on mastering and other subjects but the aim is to focus on what we want them to know about the world because the world is changing and the challenges of today are huge. They have to know those challenges.”