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Bilingualism and bilingual education
Models of Bilingual Education
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Examples of Bilingual Education

    Bilingual classes

  • first set up in the 1970’s
  • additional classes in the collèges (secondary schools from the age of 11 to 14/15)
  • 5 or 6 classes per week in the foreign language instead of the usual 3 or 4
  • teaching of Physical Education and Art partly or wholly in the foreign language

    International streams

  • they must include at least 25% foreign or dual-national pupils
  • they differ from the mainstream French schools in the disciplines of foreign languages and the Humanities (History and Geography)
  • their teachers are trained in the country of the target language
  • they provide 6 hours per week in the foreign language, 2 or 3 in History and Geography through the medium of the foreign language

    Joint certification

  • Franco-German joint certification programme
  • currently a network of 7 French institutions (upper secondary schools)
  • students are either French or dual nationals (French-German)
  • additional classes in German
  • 6 hours per week of German language and literature
  • 3 hours per week of History and Geography
  • either German or bilingual teachers with appropriate qualifications
  • on passing the oral and written examination, students are awarded a double diploma (French Baccalauréat and the German Abitur)


Case Study: The European Sections Model

    General outline

  • created in 1992
  • during the first two years of secondary education, two additional hours of language teaching are provided
  • from the third year onwards, a non-language subject is taught in whole or in part in the target language
  • in general, the language of the European Sections is a European language
  • if there is demand, other languages are possible, e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese (Eastern Language Sections)
  • no extra funding, financing is part of the regular overall budget of the school
  • all types of secondary schools (general, technical. vocational) may open a European Section
  • in practice, only a small number of technical and vocational schools have opened a European Section
  • continuity for the pupils not provided
  • 1992: 105 European Sections
  • 1996: 769 European Sections (617 =lower secondary, 152=upper)
  • to take part in a European Section, pupils have to prove a certain linguistic competence, some schools have entry requirements

    Non-language subject

  • mostly the combined subject of History and Geography
  • to a lesser degree Biology, Physical Education and Sport, Physics and Chemistry, Mathematics
  • in general 1 or 2 additional hours per week


  • teachers in France generally do not have dual qualification
  • normally non-language subject teachers with sufficient knowledge of the target language
  • in-service training beginning to take place
  • teacher training department at Strasbourg University offers a 20-day course in German for students in their second year, focusing on the education system in Germany, curriculum and teaching methods in the subject

    Click here for information about MBE in France

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