chapter  4
20 Pages

Transition from Primary to Secondary

A combination of the effects of FLs education policies in England over the last few decades and those of the growing global context of education and of cross-border demographic mobility has meant that it has become increasingly the case that the start of the Secondary school experience does not represent the start of a pupil’s experience of learning a FL. The proportion of pupils in their first year of Secondary schooling in England, who learn a foreign language ab initio is diminishing as it has been for a longer period of time in countries such as Scotland, France, Germany and the Netherlands where the statutory teaching of a FL at Primary school has had a longer history. Indeed, statistics by Eurostat (www.epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ ITY_OFFPUB/KS-SF-10-049/EN/KS-SF-10-049-EN.PDF) suggest that since the European Council set the target of ‘mastery of basic skills, in particular by teaching at least two FLs from a very early age’ in 2002 (www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/ cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/71025.pdf), the number of Primary pupils studying a FL increased significantly between 2000 and 2008. What are the implications of this classroom reality for student teachers of FLs at Secondary level?