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France launches ELT drive with new website

In line with government goals to improve foreign language learning in France, the Centre for Distance learning (CNED) has launched a website to help French children, teenagers and adults learn English.

"The objective is an immersion in spoken English for daily oral practice"

The englishbyyourself.fr service, which was commissioned by the French government for €3million, offers free and paid-for educational resources and can be accessed via mobile and tablet devices.

“The objective is an immersion in spoken English for daily oral practice,” said general manager at Cned, Serge Bergamelli.

Designed in partnership with the British Council and the telecommunications giant Orange, the service offers multimedia resources for all age groups, levels and learning objectives. Content is tailored to the user’s preferences which they enter upon registering.

“Depending on whether your expectations are from English to trade, to work in the tourism sector or for personal travel, the videos and resources proposed will not be the same,” said Bergamelli.

The site features live radio broadcasts and podcasts in English as well as videos, games and news, all edited and updated by a team of 15 English language teachers according to Cned.

France’s education minister, Luc Chatel, kicked off a national campaign to improve foreign language skills last April. He has also announced that from next September, one in ten primary schools will start teaching either an “enhanced foreign language” or two languages from year one, while nursery-age children will receive “exposure” to foreign languages through songs and nursery rhymes.



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