In my school, there were a few children who had recently moved to the area from abroad. Specifically, in the the CE2 class I was working in there were two young boys who had recently moved to France from countries in North Africa. The teacher of the class explained to me that both these boys had a very poor level of French when they had first arrived and this was a challenge for both the children and the teachers when they had to communicate with one another.
Due to the pupils’ ages, as upper school pupils, when their classmates studied French Literacy and Grammar, these two boys would work from textbooks aimed at the earlier stages. This level of differentiation seemed quite difficult for the teacher to manage as the boys needed a lot of her attention. I also wondered whether this language barrier ever made the boys feel secluded from the rest of the class. However, due to the teacher’s inability to split her time between her and the class the whole day, the boys took part in other lessons with the whole class in other curricular subjects. This meant that even over the short period that I was in the class, I noticed how much more they had integrated into the classroom environment and were now managing to communicate with their classmates much more confidently.
Immigration is becoming more of a recurring them across Europe and so I feel as though witnessing firsthand how children from other countries with language difficulties are accommodated for was valuable for me in the future. It was also nice to see how the current political climate regarding immigration in France, which is met with some hostility, did not seem to filter into the school and that these children were not hindered by their cultural differences.