Counting down . . .

Andy Lattal is a colleague of Dr. V's and mine at WVU.  He's a Professor of Psychology so it's natural that things of mind and of human behavior would draw his attention.  Nothing is more human that the behavior we display in language, and Andy has studied the system of language study that is used in French schools.  He has visited the local school of Notre-Dame de Bourgenay to see language learning in action.  He has also interviewed Madame Françoise Mornet, a language teacher in Les Sables.  His discoveries are fascinating, and he begins by explaining that foreign language in elementary school is relatively informal.  By junior high (le collège) students choose a primary foreign language to accompany their second foreign language which begins in 9th grade.  In order to qualify for a high school diploma in France, every one must have at least two foreign languages and pass standardized oral and/or written tests before getting the diploma.  Those tests are not class- or school- dependent but are graded nationally and anonymously with the goal of maintaining the same standards throughout the country.  The famous "bac" exams in a wide variety of subject have just been taken and are being graded across the nation as I write.
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This page last updated on 6/26/2003 1:36:29 AM.