The regional education authority of Northern France started the intercultural project “Calais Territoire Bilingue” in 2019, which includes English language learning as a core component. English classes start in nursery school and continue all the way until pupils graduate from secondary school. The ultimate goal of this project is to have all pupils enrolled in public schools in the city of Calais to speak English fluently when they graduate from secondary school.
In addition, three middle school classes in Calais are also labelled by the “Génération Mer” programme, an initiative locally supported by Nausicaá, the coordinator of the Youth4Ocean Forum, which recognises school projects designed to protect the ocean. Their projects address the effect of climate change on the ocean, marine pollution, and preservation of marine biodiversity.
Combining the three initiatives resulted in a round table where pupils presented their projects to protect the ocean to Youth4Ocean Forum members, in English. Anna Marino (Italy), Rebecca Daniel (UK), Jesus Lucero (Spain) and Federico Morisio (Italy/Chile) volunteered to take part in this activity via visio-conference, while the pupils were all together in a theatre room and presented their projects through videos. Each presentation was followed by a Q&A session with one of the Youth4Ocean Forum members.
The round-table sparked an interest from teachers, pupils, and Youth4Ocean Forum members alike to renew the experience in a near future. It also showed a concrete application of language learning to pupils. The “Calais Territoire Bilingue” project not only opens up opportunities for work, but also enables networking and meeting likeminded young people to have a stronger, collective impact for the ocean.
More information on "Calais Territoire Bilingue" here (in French).