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French encouraged to improve English skills

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French encouraged to improve English skills, screenshot
09:13 CET+01:00

A new website will be launched on Tuesday that gives French people of all ages and all language levels the chance to improve their English.

Education minister Luc Chatel launched the site at the same time as he proposed new ways to improveOh l language teaching in France.

Named "English By Yourself" the site will adapt content to the level of the user, making it suitable for everyone from beginners to experts.

The site features materials ranging from an animated cartoon called "Où est Tinnie?" to a clip from the latest Daniel Craig hit movie Millennium, based on the books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

"The objective is immersion in spoken English," said Serge Bergamelli, the director general of the distance-learning institute CNED (Centre National d'Enseignement à Distance).

He said there would be "different resources, audio, video, articles so that people can practice the language regularly."

"Whether you need English for business, to work in tourism or for your own trip, the videos and resources on offer will change," he added.

The site has been set up in partnership with the British Council and mobile phone operator Orange.

A 2006 Eurobarometer report found that 51 percent of French people questioned were confident about being able to have a conversation in a language other than French. This was better than countries including Spain, the UK and Ireland but worse than 18 of their European Union neighbours. 

The same survey found that 38 percent of French people felt confident about having a conversation in English with Spanish and German the next most popular languages. 

Education minister Luc Chatel also announced the findings of a survey he commissioned on language teaching in France on Tuesday.

The report recommends that languages should be taught from primary school and more provision should be made for students to spend time studying in other countries.




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