DepEd, French Embassy renew partnership to strengthen French instruction as a foreign language in public schools

The Department of Education and the Embassy of France to the Philippines, in association with Alliance Francaise in Manille, renew their partnership by signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to continue the instruction of French as a second foreign language and as an elective offering to some high schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region VII.

Based on the success of the previous agreement, DepEd and French Embassy to the Philippineshave decided to further continue their cooperation in order to institutionalize the teaching of French as a foreign language in 13 secondary schools in NCR and Region VII. Currently, more than 1,500 students receive regular French courses in Filipino public high schools.

Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said that programs like this will help the Department in its goal to produce globally competitive graduates.

“We don’t only need this program, we need to expand it as an important component of the K to 12 Basic Education Program – to give Filipino students access to a language facility that will serve as a gateway to a cultural understanding of Europe, and for French young people to look at the Philippines as a gateway to Asia” said Luistro.

In the MOA, the Embassy of France to the Philippines has set the goal to strengthen implementation of the French language program in order to respond better to opportunities for local and international employment; to train in French students who will be able to continue their education with Philippine partner universities and to eventually facilitate studies in France for select students.

“Language is a way to better understand each other.  The core of this partnership is that it is a work of friendship and understanding between our countries.  My wish is to increase our cooperation, to have more exchanges, because we can do much more” expressed French Ambassador Gilles Garachon. 

The DepEd and the French Embassy had first entered into an agreement on September 28, 2009 to pilot Foreign language in select secondary schools.

In this new MOA, the National School of Digos in Davao del Sur has been chosen as a pilot school for the introduction of French classes in the region, following the Treaty of Peace in Mindanao

Schools which are currently offering French classes will be receiving increased support. Schools heads will be able to offer up to four years of teaching French in the curriculum of secondary schools. This means that participating high schools can allot two hours per week for four years (1st to 4th year) or four hours per week during 3rdand 4th year.

The French Embassy, through the Francaise de Manille, shall conduct a one-month summer training program on basic language course for the additional 12 teachers covering theory and practicum on language teaching strategies and assessment.

19 Filipino teachers have been trained for four years in both Alliance Francaise de Manille and Alliance Francaise de Cebu under the 2009 MOA. Most of them had spent one month in France where they trained intensively and have lived in complete immersion with French families.

Piloting the French language program is under DepEd’s Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL), through the Bureau of Secondary Education.

SPFL is among the department’s initiatives in enhancing not only public school teachers’ but also students’ foreign language proficiency and global competencies. It was initiated in School Year 2009-2010 in selected public secondary schools first with Spanish, French and Japanese languages. Then German and Chinese languages were added.

It is implemented in public high schools whose students have demonstrated competence in English and are capable of learning another foreign language.

by Eccentric Yet Happy