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Délégation aux relations internationales et à la coopération - page 1 / 3

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MINISTERE DE LA JEUNESSE DE L'EDUCATION NATIONALE ET DE LA RECHERCHE

Inspection générale-Groupe des Langues vivantes

Délégation aux relations internationales et à la coopération

Partnerships between

Language Colleges ( England) and Sections Européennes ( France)

London, January 17th 2003

     "Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals"

      Oliver Goldsmith ( 1728-1774)

A few facts :

- first " wave" :   32 schools involved on each side

first conference in Paris : January 18th 2001

- second " wave": 33 schools involved on each side

second conference in London : January 17th 2002

Global assessment:

-the majority of schools were committed to making the project a success and have been working hard to overcome the initial difficulties.

They still show determination to make the most of the partnership.

On the whole, it is a success. Despite some initial difficulties

Main obstacles :

- on the human level :

The head of department in English school has not an exact counterpart in the professeur coordinateur in French schools.

The whole burden of the partnership relies quite often on the goodwill of an individual teacher.

There is strong need to develop team spirit and have other teachers in the school share some responsibilities.

However, on the whole, great capacity of both teachers and students to cope with the differences ( be they cultural or personal) of the partner. Those differences are very often said to be a bonus as they force partners into being more inventive, more tolerant, more self critical. They lead to an awareness of cultural and individual differences which is part of the project as far as "education" is concerned.

- structural problems :

matching ( mis-matching) problems : different ages of students, different aims on the teachers' side, lack of involvement of the Heads of the schools ( their lack of support can emphasize administrative difficulties)

discontinuity : French teachers do not have the same class over two consecutive years

           different dates of vacation ( hence : loss of time)

different dates of exams at the end of the year

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