In France, non-French speaking students are placed in a school grade based on their age and abilities after an evaluation of their original language. They are enrolled in a regular class that provides general education and also in a unit designed for newly arrived non-French speaking students (Unité Pédagogique pour Élèves Allophones Arrivants or UPE2A) to receive intensive French language instruction, coordinated with regular class activities. The UPE2A program is structured to gradually integrate the student into the regular class as they progress in their language proficiency until they are able to fully follow the regular course of instruction. The end of the UPE2A support and assistance is managed by the school or middle school educational team under the authority of the director or head of the institution based on the student’s mastery of the required competencies.

It is crucial for non-French speaking students to have a good command of the French language, both oral and written, to succeed in their schooling, pursue their education, build their professional future, and succeed in life in society. In addition to UPE2A, some schools and municipalities offer extra support to help these students integrate into the school system and develop their language skills. Such support can include additional courses, tutoring, mentoring, and cultural activities. Parents can contact their local education authority for more information and assistance.

It is important to note that France’s education system provides support for students regardless of their nationality, social background, or level of French proficiency. All students have the right to equal access to education, and schools are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion to create a supportive and welcoming learning environment for all.


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