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60 case studies have been identified. The case studies focus on intercultural issues, integration, non-discrimination values and human rights at school.

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French Courses for Allophone Students


Name of the teacher
Isabelle Courtinade
Subject taught:
English and FLS (French as a Secondary Language)


Name of the School:
Collège Marie-Noël
School Typology:
Lower Secondary School
Web site:


Background and Context:
This school is a relatively new lower secondary school (30 years) attended by 576 students in the town of Joigny (10 000 inhabitants), in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
It offers special support to dyslexic students in the first and second years of lower secondary school (aged 11-13).
The sports association of the school offers 5 different sports on top of one-time activities. Students can also enroll in a special "sport-study" class that allows them to practice swimming at a high level since their first year at the school.
The students enjoy cultural activities offered by 4 clubs (Singing group, Chemistry, Nature and environment, Drawing) and participate in school trips abroad.
Finally, the school includes a UPE2A class (Educational Unit for Newly-arrived Allophones Students), which will be our subject here.
Factual Description:
A UPE2A class aims at welcoming and teaching allophones children (whose first language is not French). Every school-aged child can attend this type of class. The teaching lasts for one year at most and makes it possible for students to enroll in a regular French school program afterwards.

In the region of Joigny, UPE2A classes started appearing at the end of the 1980's, following the massive arrival of foreign students. They are also being implemented in some higher secondary schools.
After having registered at the Regional Education Authority, students pass a placement test done by the psychologists and careers advisers of the Careers Advice Center. Then they are assigned to a class of the school. This placement takes into account their age, their educational background and their personal project.

At the Marie-Noël school, this special class was created in 2011. Today, about fifteen foreign students learn French intensively in order to become integrated in French society.
They have differents origins and sometimes difficult backgrounds: some have come from Europe and even Asia (Bulgaria, Romania, Mongolia) and have settled in France with their parents. Others have fled war in their country (Syria, Afghanistan) or have crossed the Mediterranean Sea, sometimes alone, leaving their family.
Activities carried out:
The program of the UPE2A class is as followed: 14 hours of FLS (French as a Secondary Language) and 6 hours of mathematics per week. This teaching is done in the morning by special teachers.
A particular, informal method is used to teach French according to each child's age and needs. It is done in successive stages:
- Essential grammar and vocabulary essential for everyday life
- Concepts and ideas
- Written expression (a stage that is a little harder to get through)
Then, in the afternoon, students attend other courses in the "regular" classes of French children.

The UPE2A students of this school have also decided to participate in the 2017 school short-film festival of the French department of Yonne, whose theme is "Borders". They have produced an animated movie telling the story of a young migrant travelling from Afghanistan to Paris, drawing on their personal backgrounds and past.
Assessment and lesson learnt:
The students show great motivation and major progress. Therefore, most of them should feel well-integrated into French society in the future.
Some students spontaneously teach some French language to their parents if they do not speak it themselves, which helps the family altogether.
Their school results are good and most of them want to keep studying in France.

One of their teachers, Mrs Isabelle Courtinade, decided to publish a Best Practices Guide two years ago, in order to help her colleagues working with allophone students.
Description of the Case Study in National Language:

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.