French teacher launches early learning language project

Children under 11 learn new languages better, claims Annie as she launches classes for babies and toddlers

A FRENCH woman, who came to study English at Exeter University 19 years ago and stayed, is offering French classes to babies, toddlers and their parents.

Annie Ozanne, pictured, teaches French one day a week at Sidbury Primary School and was taken on under Labour’s initiative to make it a statutory requirement for primary schools to teach a foreign language.

The present government wants it to be optional, said Annie, who lives in Victoria Road, Sidmouth.

“I like the idea of having babies and toddlers learning another language,” said Annie, who comes from Rennes, Exeter’s twin city.

She plans to teach them authentic French finger rhymes, nursery rhymes and games and will start lessons at St Teresa’s Hall, Connaught Road, on Mondays from October 11.

“Parents are part of the lessons and learn with the children. They will learn songs and finger rhymes and we do things to help children acquire language the way children at home in France learn it,” said Annie, who studied for her Ma�trise (MA) at Exeter’s School of English and American Studies.

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A qualified teacher, having taught at the former St Thomas’s High School (now West Exe) and middle school, she decided to turn to primary teaching and taught in Axminster before Sidbury.

“Children have a much more avid hunger for learning at that age,” she said, adding that children’s competence in language learning declines from the age of 11 “just when they go to secondary school!”

Sessions are 1.30pm to 2.15pm and 2.15pm to 3pm on Mondays and 10-11am on the first Saturday of the month and cost �5 a session. For more information call Annie on (01395) 512407.