The Issues of Teaching French in Slovenian Primary Schools Meta Lah
Summary: The article presents the position of French as a second foreign language in Slovenian primary schools. The aim of the research was to find out what problems and limitations teachers face while teaching this language. By using qualitative research, semi-structured interviews with teachers of French, we detected several problematic points: teachers emphasized the schedules, the size and heterogeneity of the groups, the decision to choose French as a foreign language, the image and the status of French. We focus primarily on one of the problems: as the pupils are allowed to enrol in or leave the group every year, teachers often find themselves in front of distinctly heterogeneous groups, both in terms of age and language skills. The lessons must therefore be differentiated and individualized to achieve the best possible result and keep the students in the group throughout the years. Teachers in this situation often use a problem-based approach. Another problematic point is related to the status and the image of the language; at this age, since French is mostly considered difficult and not very useful, the motivation of pupils to choose French as an elective subject is strongly tied to their parents‘ influence. We also briefly present other problems related to the status of French in Slovenian primary schools that have emerged during the interviews and try to propose some solutions.