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Language matters in every subject

The October edition of Connexion includes a report to the Ministry of Education recommending teaching certain subjects in English (Teach maths in English to improve L’anglais).

I fear the worst! As a retired language teacher, I regularly taught my adult learners diverse matters in English, the subject they came to me to learn, and the overall results were good.

And there lies the difference. My partner’s granddaughter, whose English is very good and who attends a well-respected school, recently had a geography lesson in English. But from the lesson in question, she learned nothing, the teacher’s English being practically incomprehensible.

I, too, went to a highly reputed grammar school. But the French teachers taught limited French language and neither of them had been to France. Thank goodness they never had to teach any other subject to us. In France, English language teachers do not have sufficient mastery of their subject to go beyond the confines of teaching in their immediate curriculum. Knowledge of English among teachers of other disciplines is no better.
If the experiment is pushed too far, pupils will end up learning neither geography nor English!

Stephen Burrough, Charente


Stephen Burrough wins the Connexion letter of the month for September 2018 and a copy of the Connexion Puzzle Book.

Please include your name and address in any correspondence; we can withhold it on request. The Editor’s decision is final. Write to: The Connexion, Patio Palace, 41 avenue Hector Otto, 98000 Monaco or email

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