élève vs apprenant

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by mhaber, May 17, 2009.

  1. mhaber Member

    what is the most suitable way in French to refer to an adolescent (11-16 years) learning a foreign language “élève” or “apprenant”?

    Thanks :)
  2. Lotuselisa Senior Member

    Un élève/étudiant qui étudie les langues....
  3. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    For that age, I would prefer un élève. Un étudiant is used for students who have taken their baccalaureate, which means they are over 16. Un apprenant is mostly used as a professional term by teachers.
  4. mhaber Member

    I'm writing a paper from the point of view of a student teacher (as I'm studying to be a foreign language teacher). So in this case you think that "apprenant" fits more? I know that " étudiants" would be more adequate when refering to older learner.
    Thanks for your help
  5. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    Yes, in this context you will definitely use l'apprenant.
  6. The Morrigan

    The Morrigan Senior Member

    I can answer that!
    Kids aged 11-16 are in secondary school and are therefore des élèves. At university they are étudiants.
    The word apprenant has been introduced recently to refer to anybody who learns something, whatever his/her age. It was considered less condescending than élève and future teachers are required (as I have been) to use "apprenant" in their thesis because it is politically correct. :)
    Of course, this term has been widely ignored in "real" life because it was considered preposterous, but as a student teacher you must use it.
  7. mhaber Member

    Thanks a lot for your help!! I really appreciate it :)

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