Schools will be able to choose the first foreign language to be taught

But English will remain compulsory.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The new school year starting on September 2 comes with a big change in the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools.

Under the new rules, it will be possible to choose which foreign language will be taught as first in the third grade. If they do not choose English, they will have to choose the language between seventh and ninth grades as their second language, the SITA newswire reported.

The schools should enable pupils to speak English and at least one more foreign language and know how to use them, as stems from the School Act. The second language should be taught at least two lessons a week.

The change is voluntary

Related articleShould English remain compulsory in Slovak schools? Read more 

Under the current rules, all pupils compulsorily start learning English in the third grade of primary schools. They can then start learning the second foreign language in seventh grade, but only if there is an interest of pupils and the school can ensure there is somebody to teach it.

“The Education Ministry has re-evaluated the current status of foreign language education based on the communication with schools and employers’ associations,” the ministry’s press department said, as quoted by SITA. “Moreover, speaking more foreign languages, particularly German and French, which are used in trade and culture, may help pupils find better placement in the labour market.”

The change will be voluntary. The Education Ministry expects that most schools will not change current practice and will teach English as the first foreign language, SITA reported.

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