This is the second film in a series which looks at preparations for the expansion of the European Economic Community (EEC).
This is the second film in a series which looks at preparations for the expansion of the European Economic Community (EEC). It shows a special school set up by the Community members for children of the so-called "Eurocrats"... the people who work at EEC headquarters. The children can go to the European School from about three years old... and can stay until they reach the age or qualifications to attend University. When they arrive, many children can only barely speak their own language but right from the start they spend at least an hour a day learning a second language. French is the language of the playground, and children who are little more than toddlers seem able to converse happily with each other in a strange tongue within days of arrival. By the time they reach 11 they automatically take geography and history in their second language, and their final school leaving certificate enables them to attend any suitable university within EEC nations.
SYNOPSIS: This is the original building of the Ecole European, a spacial school in Brussels for the children of the so-called "Eurocrats"... the people who work at the EEC headquarters. The children can come here when they are only three years old, and can remain until the normal school-leaving age, or until they go on to university. When they arrive many can speak only their own language, and they go to a class taught by a teacher from their own country... but from the very beginning they spend at least one hour a day learning a second language.
The school was established in 1958, now with the entry of Britain, Denmark and Eire, a big building expansion programme has been started. Britain and Eire have agreed to subscribe to the school, but Denmark hasn't yet signed.
To a visitor, the mixture of children and language comes as a surprise... even if the visitor is fully aware of the school's nature. French is the language of the playground, and within days children of all ages... even these little more than toddlers... seem able and happy to talk and shout at each other. When talking to visitors, the children run rapidly through a variety of languages, until they find one which suits the stranger... they then chat happily in that tongue. At present the school teaches two thousand six hundred pupils, but several hundred more are expected when the six member nations become nine on January the first next year.
When the children are eleven, they take geography and history in their second language, and pupils who gain a school-leaving certificate, are entitled to go to suitable universities in any of the member countries.
By that time, teachers hope the common education will help destroy old national barriers.