EFI Bucharest is resolutely open to all nationalities. It is our policy to welcome children into our preschool or primary school with little or no French at all levels. To ensure their successful integration, we make sure that there is a stress-free transition for such children via our Portal Programme. This method provides children with fast tuition in French (which will be their main tuition language) and an easy insertion into the curriculum.
EFI’s Portal Programme© includes a set of methods for individual tuition that are developed by our team of teachers and approved by the child’s parents. The Portal Programme facilitates the integration of pupils who speak little or no French (expatriates from other countries, for example), at whatever level they are at, whether in preschool or primary school.
Before these children can be integrated, we need to assess their precise linguistic ability. This assessment provides the basis on which their progress can be measured. Pupils then start the “immersion” process into ordinary classes, but their time tables are adapted, along the lines of the French Ministry of Education’s “Newcomers Programme” and the “total immersion” classes of the best international schools in France.
Every day, a teacher specialised in teaching French as a foreign language (FLE) looks after these children in small groups for one-and-a-half to two hours, so that they can be taught French in carefully planned and highly focused lessons. The time needed for these lessons is mainly taken out of time otherwise planned for English lessons.
The Portal Programme© is a sort of linguistic gateway that helps students from outside the French school system to be initiated into the French language in less than a year and develop good listening and reading skills. The child’s self-confidence improves and his or her spoken and written French improve. Furthermore, we are in permanent contact with parents to discuss any challenges and constraints and work together with them to build a well-informed educational partnership.
This method has proven its worth over many years. Usually after about a year, students move into the mainstream curriculum, but also moving on to a different curriculum at some point during the child’s schooling.