The new School Year starts with a record number of Primary Schools setting up French classes during teaching hours and after-school through the Alliance Française Dublin. With the Irish government implementing language learning as a core part of the primary school experience, now is the best time to plan ahead
Alexandre Allais (Course Director): It is across the board really, we are currently sending out French teachers in all kinds of Primary Schools: public and private, traditional or Montessori oriented, in both wealthy and less privileged neighbourhoods.
Most of them are looking for long-term, once-weekly classes in view of implementing it as the Modern Foreign Language required in the new upcoming Primary Curriculum Framework. Last March the Department of Education announced that, from September 2025, it will be mandatory for Primary Schools to teach a foreign language to students from the 3rd Class onwards.
Alexandre: Learning a language is a great way to enrich pupils’ intellectual development and ability to be open to other cultures, and to understand their own. Many studies have shown it can boost the creativity and self-esteem of young learners, their memory functions and problem-solving skills too! At a community level, it also helps support greater inclusion and appreciation of diversity in society, an important factor in Ireland where the social landscape has tremendously changed in recent years.
Obviously it is also a head start for Secondary school!
Alexandre: It seems the French language was a natural choice. It is still the most taught foreign language in Ireland, by far, and the one pupils are likely to be offered in the vast majority of Secondary Schools. The French language is shared by over 320 million speakers all over the globe, it can open up a world of opportunities for young learners.
Schools have come to us because of our reputation. We have worked in Irish Primary Schools in the greater Dublin area for over 25 years, both during school hours and in after-school. They know that we provide French native-speaking teachers, fully qualified, and Garda-vetted. We are the only school that can provide official certification too, the DELF Prim, even at this young age!
National Council for Curriculum
and Assessment (NCCA)
Alice Lingerat (French Teacher): Our classes usually take place for 45 minutes / 1 hour during the morning hours. Our sessions are very lively and dynamic, we use the classroom space as much as we can and invite pupils to move around. We want them to act on their learning. Activities are very varied and include songs, arts & craft, games and role-plays…
The children’s reactions have been amazing. Having an external guest in the classroom is always an event for children and you can tell how precious this moment is. The level of excitement can be overwhelming at times! Pupils are very fond of our project-based learning approach. It is always about creating something, whether it is a podcast, a stop-motion animation or a Kamishibai stories. We want children to take away something other than just a few French words, rather an experience in context.
Alexandre: Principals and counsellors can contact us directly, anytime, to set up tailor-made programmes and tuition in their school. They may avail of grants and special funding – many schools we work with have – like the Say Yes to Languages Primary Sampler Module provided by Languages Connect (see link below).
We are very excited about the 2025 Primary Curriculum Framework and we believe Alliance Française Dublin can play a major part in helping school prepare for the big change: we can provide our own French teacher to conduct the class; train the in-house teacher so that they can conduct it themselves; we can also provide existing language teaching resources or develop new ones. We can be there every step of the way!