Transitions

From the point of view of continuity in early foreign language learning, the interface between nursery education and pre-primary or primary education tends to be problematic.

One major aid to delivering continuity of learning processes between institutions is cross-institutional harmonisation of foreign language programme curricula. Teachers at primary schools must seek precise information from the linguistically qualified early years practitioners regarding the content areas already covered and the actual work done if they are to be able to pick up usefully in their new teaching from the knowledge of foreign languages that the children have already acquired, and to avoid overlap. Specialist teachers at the institution attended first have a corresponding duty to prepare the children for the transition to the next level.

This entails curricular provisions designed to impose a clear progression and continuity on foreign language learning.
    Recommendations
    • Curricula (time of learning commencement, choice, range and sequence of languages, final target profiles) need to be harmonised in detail. The entire educational process related to early foreign language learning should be underpinned by a unified concept in educational theory.
    • University-level training of practitioners and teachers side-by-side during at least part of the course, already under trial in some countries, could contribute to a more coherent educational system.
    • Transitions should be the subject of advance cross-institutional planning so as to ensure continuity in the learning process.
    • Teaching materials and textbooks for use at more than one level should be developed.

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