Presentation of the Bilingual Project – BANJUL
Starting point, context analysis:
The French School of Banjul is in a particular context, since the official language of The Gambia is English. Also, the Francophone community is very small, and the School welcomes children whose mother tongue is not French, and for whom the family context is not at all French, with, in most cases, parents who do not speak French at all.
To learn more, we have established the linguistic profile of our students, through the development of linguistic maps. This work revealed that 31% of our students are French-speaking, 39% are English-speaking, and 28% are Arabic-speaking.
It appears that English is part of the daily environment of virtually all our students, with a more or less important place given to this language: mother tongue, language spoken with his but, the house staff, “screen time” …
It seemed to us essential to take into account the linguistic specificities of our students, and to think of setting up a bilingual system, or to go towards plurilingual education, in accordance with AEFE’s language policy.
This work is carried out in close collaboration with the Dakar Inspectorate, Ms. Pouzoulet, Inspector of National Education, and Mrs. Cornet and Mr. Levaufre, pedagogical advisers, while referring to the 2015 AEFE circular.
English can be an object of learning in language sessions, but English is also a learning medium in English-language disciplinary lessons with CLIL.
The profiles of our students lead us to think about the differentiation methods to put in place.
Language as learning object:
According to the profiles of the students, we try to form coherent modular groups, where the teaching will not always have the same objectives: a didactic of mother tongue or language of schooling.
Language as a learning vector:
The class teacher and the speaker reflect together, initially, on the sequences that could be worked in English, then the choice of sequences is the subject of consultation during the teachers’ councils. Teachers take care to specify disciplinary and linguistic objectives, with several levels of acquisition, with a view to differentiation.
The purposes of bilingual education are not the same depending on the students’ profiles.
It is important to set realistic goals.
Disciplines taught in English:
The programming of the sequences is modified periodically, so that a subject is not always taught in the same language, and that the interactions between the two languages are favored.
There is no specific programming of language teaching, it is the skills defined by the new programs that are taught in English.
Specific programs are followed in English, but they are in line with the teaching programs of the French language, as part of the study of language, writing, reading-comprehension and oral language in particular.
Depending on the language profiles of the pupils or their language level, the objectives may be different during the same cycle.
In cycle 2 and cycle 3, diagnostic assessments were conducted to better understand the level of language in students, according to 5 axes:
- Written comprehension
- Written expression
- Oral comprehension
- Oral expression
- Oral interaction
In CLIL, there is no specific assessment. It is a question of evaluating identical subject competencies in French or in English. Nevertheless, it might be interesting to be able to evaluate the impact of bilingual education, with reference to the AEFE plurilingual policy, which specifies in particular that bilingual education participates in plurilingual and intercultural education according to 4 points:
- Bilingualism develops in students a “metalinguistic awareness” that promotes the understanding of language as a system and builds the competence “to learn languages”.
- Plurilingualism makes it possible to develop cultural mediation and intercultural skills.
- The multilingual individual is able to move from one culture to another, in different or untrained languages.
- Plurilingual education contributes to an opening to cultural otherness and gives it competence.
In kindergarten, it appears necessary to do an initial language assessment in the mother tongue, for GST, PS and new kindergarten students.
An initial assessment in language will also be proposed at the end of GS, either in 2 languages (French and English) or in one language.
- Class of TPS-PS-MS-Gs:
The English speaker is present 12h in class.
A timetable has been defined with the class teacher, language and language workshops are provided. Reception and regrouping times are also privileged moments.
The different domains are worked on: Mobilizing language in all its dimensions; Act, express and understand through physical activity or artistic activities; Build the first tools to structure one’s thinking; Explore the world
- Classe of CP, CE1, CE2, CM1 et CM2:
The English speaker provides 4:30 lessons per student.
-2h of language teaching, by half level group: the “Jolly Phonics” / “Jolly Grammar” method is followed from the GS.
-2h in doublet with the class teacher, for sessions in DNL.
-2h alone in the whole class, for sessions of DNL.
The teachers prepare together a periodic program that defines the areas that will be worked on: mathematics, literature, sciences, geographie, arts visuels, EPS. L’ensemble des domaines seront abordés au cours de l’année.
A concerted work:
Weekly consultations are held between stakeholders and classroom teachers.
The implementation of the bilingual system is the subject of ongoing common reflection at the councils of the masters.
The bilingual project is the subject of a partnership with the Inspection in Dakar, and more particularly the educational advisers: Mr Levaufre has already come on mission in April 2016, and in November 2016 to provide educational activities and follow-ups in class.
Towards a long-term certification?
In the longer term, a reflection will have to be started on the possibilities of validation of language skills, by certifications such as:
-Young Learners French Tests, from 8 years old: Levels starters, movers, flyers
Means put in place:
- Staffs :
Since the beginning of the 2016 academic year, 2 speakers are teaching English or English, in primary:
– 1 full-time teacher for teaching CP to CM2.
– 1 part-time teacher for teaching in TPS-PS-MS-Gs.
- Didactic materials
The school works in partnership with the “Timbooktoo” bookstore in Banjul, which has teaching aids, books in English; the BCD has also been given novels, albums, documentaries in English.