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2. Stage (2015): The Reform of the French “Collège“ under the Minister for Education Vallaud-Belkacem (2015)

Logo of the educational reform of the Collège in 2013 with the slogan: 'To learn better in order to have better success'. On the logo, a virtual collage made of headlines found in German, English and French media: 
* The VDFG calls for saying no to a pre-programmed decline of the German language in France
* Arabic instead of German?
* Are German language courses in France in danger?
* French Education Minister sparks diplomatic situation with Germany by proposing to abolish 'two-language' classes for 1
The French Minister for Education's plans for reform under attack.
Copyright: French Government; Picture edited by N. Cohen

The reform of the lower secondary education (the so-called "collège") is the second step of the educational reform called "Refondons l`école" (Let`s re-establish school) of the government under François Hollande in France. In march 2015, the minister for education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem presented the planned reform of the collège. More interdisciplinarity during the classes, a greater autonomy for the collèges in structuring their schedules, beginning earlier with the second foreign language - the reform proposes a multitude of changes. Yet, there is one change that even launched an transnational debate between France and Germany: the intended changes to the German language classes in France.

We provide you with an overview of the debate in the French, German and English media, as well as with links to the official documents concerning the reform and some organisations protesting against the reform:


Overview of the reform

France
A good overview over the French reform of the Collège starting in 2015 in German and French. This overview is provided by the French embassy in Germany. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

France
Official information page of the French Ministry for Education about the reform of the French Collège starting in spring 2015 under Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (in French only). The site provides current news, the minister's presentation dossier on the planned reform, key points, questions and answers, statements and press [...]

France
éduscol is a portal provided by the French Ministry for Education for professionals in education. The page linked here provides information on the reform of the French Collège under minister Vallaud-Belkacem starting in 2015. You will find question and answers, explanations and graphics, as well as all important official documents. [...]

France
Two chapters in the French Wikipedia article on the "Collège de France" that show the development of the Collège since the 1950s in France: La réforme du collège unique (The Reform of the Single Lower Secondary School), Projet de réforme Vallaud-Belkacem (Reform Project Vallaud-Belkacem). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


Statements on the German language classes

France
Statement of the French Education Minister Vallaud-Belkacem to the criticism to her reform of the Collège and perception that the reform cuts down German language lessons in the Collège. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

France
Critical statement by the "Association of German-French Societies for Europe" concerning the changes in the German language courses planned in the educational reform of the French Collège by French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (11th April 2015). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


In the Media (English)

"French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem announced a series of reforms to middle-schools Wednesday, including a proposal for starting a second foreign language earlier and giving schools greater autonomy over schedules." [Source: Internet portal France 24, 12.03.2015]

By Bettina Kolb - "German as a foreign language is booming in emerging countries like India, Brazil or China. In Europe, it remains particularly attractive in Poland, but may be imperiled in France, where schools are cutting down on German classes. Find out where in the world people are learning German and why in our interactive graphic." Source: Deutsche Welle 22.04.15

"France sought on Wednesday to allay fears in neighboring Germany that teaching of the German language would suffer under a forthcoming education reform. (Reporting By John Irish, Elizabeth Pineau in Paris, Andreas Rinke and Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin; editing by Mark John and Ralph Boulton)" Press Agency Reuters, 29.04.2015

"... [T]he French Education Minister has provoked a cross-Rhine storm by proposing to abolish special classes which allow some clever French 11-year-olds to learn German alongside English from the first year of secondary school. Instead, says the minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, all children in France will be taught a second modern language of their choice from the age of [...]


In the Media (German)

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German radio broadcast. Available only in German.

Detail from an interactive picture that looks like an old blackboard with chalk use. There you can read:
TODAY
The European orientation
In the European orientation, two additional hours of foreign language courses are offered for grade 8 and 9 in English, German, Spanish, or an oriental language. Students have to apply for this. They are chosen according to their application papers and based on their marks and motivation.
ARTE provides an interactive graphism in its article.
Copyright: Anika Maldacker, Anne Charlotte Waryn, Franck Mahmoudian; Image source: ARTE

German-French Television Website, artcile available only in German.

German television broadcast. Available only in German.

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German newspaper article. Available only in German.

German Radio Broadcast (20.07.15), only available in German


In the Media (French)

The table lists selected articles from the most well-known media in France. For a broader press review, you can take a look at the list provided by the ADEAF (Association for the Development of the German Language in France). This press review mainly covers French Media. A few articles in German are provided, too.

France; Germany
The ADEAF (Association for the Development of the German Language in France) provides a press review in German and French on the discussions about the French educational reform of the lower secondary education in 2014/15 under Minister for Education Vallaud-Belkacem. Especially the changes planned for the German language [...]

Date Journal Article Subject
07.03.15 Le Parisien Une deuxième langue dès la 5e Overview of the reform (especially language classes)
11.03.15 Le Parisien Najat Vallaud-Belkacem : «Le collège doit être unique, pas uniforme» Overview of the reform
11.03.15 Les Echos Education : ce qui va changer dans les collèges en 2016 Overview of the reform
11.03.15 Le Parisien Les principaux changements Overview of the reform
11.03.15 Le Monde Ce que prévoit la réforme du collège prévue pour la rentrée 2016 Overview of the reform
16.04.15 Le Monde Réforme des programmes scolaires : ce qui changera pour les élèves Overview of the reform
10.03.15 Libération Un collège unique plus retouché que réformé Overview of the reform / Criticism of the reform in general
16.04.15 Les Echos Ayrault s’en prend à la réforme du collège Criticism of the reform in general
16.04.15 Les Echos Réforme du collège : appel à la grève le 19 mai Criticism of the reform in general
17.04.15 Les Echos Réforme du collège : pourquoi le projet fâche Criticism of the reform in general
18.04.15 Le Monde Profs et politiques contre la réforme du collège Criticism of the reform in general
15.04.15 L`express Ayrault critique la réforme du collège menée par le gouvernement Reform and German language classes in France / Criticism of the reform in general
16.04.15 Europe1 Collège : Ayrault s`inquiète pour l`enseignement de l`allemand Reform and German language classes in France / Criticism of the reform in general
16.04.15 Le Figaro Ayrault «inquiet» de la réforme des collèges de Vallaud-Belkacem Reform and German language classes in France
16.04.15 Le Parisien La réforme de Najat Vallaud-Belkacem vexe les Allemands Reform and German language classes in France
29.04.15 Le Monde Le gouvernement annonce la création de 515 postes d`enseignants en allemand l`an prochain Reform and German language classes in France
29.04.15 Le Parisien Le Foll assure que l`enseignement de l`allemand n`est pas menacé au collège Reform and German language classes in France

Associations

France; Germany
The ADEAF (Association for the Development of the German Language in France) is a national organisation with about 1800 members, most of them German language teachers or German studies scholars. The website provides a newsletter, official information (educational policy etc), information about relevant events, thematic [...]

France; Germany
The VDFG ("Association of German-French Societies for Europe") has a French counterpart, the 'Fédération des Associations Franco-Allemandes pour l´Europe' (FAFA). Both were created in 1957 and form a unit. Currently, there are about 160 members, like German-French Societies, partnership associations, German-French choirs [...]

Last Update: 15.05.2018  -  N. Cohen ;

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