English will be compulsory for Slovak pupils in the third year of primary school, Education Minister Eugen Jurzyca (SDKÚ) stated during a visit of students from Comenius' Children University at the Slovak Parliament on Monday, August 23, the SITA newswire reported.
The original proposal of the department was to begin with compulsory English for first-graders. "We will start from the third year, and if we see that schools have responded well, then we will move into the second year and possibly into the first year," Jurzyca said in answering the question of an interpreter's son who wondered whether the minister was aware of the habits which children catch in a foreign language class at an early age and carry them into adulthood.
The new concept of foreign language teaching in primary and secondary schools introduces an obligation for schools to teach the first foreign language in the third grade as of September. This obligation was approved in 2007 by the ministry under the leadership of Ján Mikolaj (SNS).
Jurzyca explained to the children that he wanted to introduce compulsory English so that Slovaks working abroad do not have to do inferior work. The amendment to the law on education establishes English as a compulsory foreign language as of September 1, 2011, so that each high school graduate would be able to speak English fluently. Moreover, he/she should speak at least one additional foreign language.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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24. Aug 2010 at 14:00