Educator says Creole does not affect English in schools

Jules-Royer believes English and Creole can compliment each other
Jules-Royer believes English and Creole can compliment each other

Education Officer for the Western district, Margaret Jules-Royer, has attempted to dispel the notion that speaking Creole negatively affects students’ knowledge of Standard English.

“Regardless of some critics who say that the speaking of Creole adversely affects the speaking and writing of Standard English, we are here today to prove to them that they both can go hand in hand,” she stated, at the seventh annual Primary Schools Kwéyòl Spelling Bee Competition, on Wednesday.

She applauded the efforts of the Komité Pou Etid Kwéyòl (KEK) in the preservation of the Creole language.

However, Royer, highlighted the challenge of the Ministry of Education in marketing and managing the use of both Creole and Standard English in schools.

“The challenge for us, as educators, however, is to ensure that this concept of being able to use both languages in the classroom is marketed and managed properly, through the schools, KEK, Ministry of Education, and the Cultural Division coming together more often to explore the idea even further… to work towards ensuring that, in our curriculum, we look at the writing of Creole,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Chairman of KEK, Raymond Lawrence, revealed that the committee will soon tackle an updated Creole dictionary.

“KEK has been playing a very vital role in the preservation of the Creole language. Our next major project is an updated version of our Creole dictionary,” he divulged.

He encouraged private sector investment in the preservation of Dominican culture, and the Creole language.

Partnership with the Ministry of Education, Raymond remarked, will help to promote and preserve the language.

“Together with the Ministry of Education, we can continue to build on the inclusion of the language, even in the national curriculum in schools, and give greater exposure and promotion to this beautiful language of ours,” he commented. “And, in that way, we will help to ensure the future promotion and preservation of the language.”

Raymond urged Dominican to take pride in the Creole language.

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16 Comments

  1. Face the Facts
    May 15, 2016

    It is important to keep the heritage of “Patois” as we know it. I think the word Kweyol is derived from the French. This is how the people of Guadeloupe and Martinique call it. Therefore, it is a copycat of them. Why not call it Patois as we have originally called it or “Creole”?
    The children must be taught love and discipline. Although many are baptized, attended church, they should also practice it. As they grow older, they appear to forget it. “If you do not use it you lose it.”
    Some youths drop out of school and commence committing crimes (if not while in school). If you want a practically criminal-free country/society, while these children are young and able to learn and grasp the difference of right from wrong, we just may have a safe society.
    Discipline and education begin from home and school. In Church, they also learn the ways of God, what He taught us, what is expected of us and how to treat our fellow people. Teach them accordingly.

  2. Finding the balance
    May 15, 2016

    One of the main things that affects our english in dominca is or own failure to not speak proper english on a regular basis.
    “I doh see him nor”
    “Where you be?”
    “Wahpen”
    Although they are our regular slang and informal speech they are ‘what we speak. :lol:

    Because of this problem, when we introduce creole, special emphasis will have to be put on sentence structure and English phonetics, especially our long and short vowel sounds.

    Our Dominican English does not recognize
    1) short ‘i’ – there is no ship/sheep distinction
    2) nasal ‘u’ from non-nasal – ‘u’ — strong nasal u and pronunciation tendencies
    3) difficulty with short ‘a’ and long ‘a” — –what=wut / —waat – that —- daat–

    These phonetic issues are due to our french creole background in which these short sounds don’t exist.

    Sentence structure/meaning
    1) Mwe mem – Me den
    2) Se sa mem – Is dat self
    3) o la (ou ka alle) – where der

    :)

  3. May 14, 2016

    she could smile buh is tru wat u say aunty magrette …. :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :arrow:

  4. Joan
    May 14, 2016

    just listen to your union head speak.. he would be better off speaking patois.

  5. May 13, 2016

    In Dominica there was segregation among the population due to speaking creole.Those who spoke english thought that those who spoke creole were of a poorer or less educated.There was a head teacher in the same house with me,i cannot recall hearing him speak one word or creole neither any one among the children in that same house speak creole ,We were not allowed to speak to those who spoke creole neither to interfere with the catholics. Especially those who were catholics they made us understand that they were bad people and to keep away from them.Nonetheless I do believe that practice makes perfect ,some can control to the best when they speak different languages but some cannot ,both in school and out of school. Children were punished severely at that same school which encourages creole now .Speaking creole is like speaking any other lauguage,it does not form any ones character nor does it determine any ones future.It is the most emotive language that i can speak and i love it.

  6. out of south city
    May 12, 2016

    I agree with the Education officer for the Western district. This is something that I have been saying for a while now, that Creole should be part of the curriculum in all schools on the island. It has been said that the more languages that one speaks, the more intelligent one is. There is no way that speaking Creole will negatively affect one from speaking or writing the Queen’s language. In any case, English, French or Spanish are not our original languages; meaning that we were taught to speak and write these languages. So why is it that Creole can’t be spoken or written alongside English? So then, why is it that Spanish and French are taught at secondary levels? Are we despising our own and holding in high esteem these European languages?
    We need to give more credence to what is truly ours and continue to promote it, as I mentioned previously. I applaud people like Raymond Lawrence and Felix Henderson for doing a tremendous work in trying to preserve the Creole language.

  7. Zandoli
    May 12, 2016

    The head teacher at my primary school was of the mistaken belief that speaking Creole would diminish our ability to speak proper English. Many of us got licks for doing just that. He would have some of the students spy on each other and would call us up for a beating.

    We were also forbidden to speak Creole at home.

    These people meant well, but we’re so misguided.

  8. d-a born
    May 12, 2016

    I agree. It’s one thing to think D/ca has problems with education but then you come to the US and realize kids aren’t being taught things like phonics, comprehension, etc.

    • Dominican
      May 13, 2016

      I agree. The U.S.A. may be the most powerful nation on earth but the quality of their public school system is dire. Shame on them

  9. Concerned
    May 12, 2016

    It’s a good initiative. one that I would love to see in the classroom. It would be good to start off with a proper dictionary so that our children can refer to the correct spelling.

    Hats off to you!!

  10. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 12, 2016

    That is according to your beliefs, and opinion!

    Nevertheless, when you have people in Dominica, and aboard whom does not know the difference in ” Live and leave” that should be enough evidence. There Dominicans who do not know the difference of “sit, and seat”.

    How do you account for that? Somehow, or the other patios have to do with it ,or the educational system has failed to properly educate students grammatically!

    So once again you can trivialize it, make excuses to make feel good everything in Dominica is better!

  11. anonymous2
    May 12, 2016

    Creole is just another language. In that so many Dominicans cannot speak proper English, that should be the language that is emphasized and corrected in the schools.

  12. Dominican
    May 12, 2016

    I agree entirely with mrs. Jules-Royer. We should consider our creole as just another language, like French or Spanish for example. There are enough people that master more than one language expertly, so why should our creole patois be treated any different? I find it a very colourful language, full of nuances and rich source of our heritage and culture. By all means, learn to speak and write English properly but there is no need to look down on our mother tongue as a poor cousin.

    • I congratulate Margaret Jules-Royer for having the courage to advocate for the Creole language.

      She is absolutely right.

      (1) Children in school are at the time in their lives when their minds are the sharpest. It will NOT confuse them at all to learn another language providing they have competent teachers. Anyway I expect the Creole is something they are learning and using at home.

      My granddaughter age 17 has English, French, Taglog, and Latin. Her brother 14 has English and Taglog. I never hear them complain.

      (2) You would not be doing the kids any service by taking their Creole from them.

      Many years ago the Canadian government here forced the native (Aboriginal) children into white government schools. The boys were made cut their hair – their beautiful native braids – They were forbidden to utter a word in their native language. Their culture was taken from them. Only God and time can heal the damage that was done.

      • If you want these children to grow up to be loving Dominicans (I know you do), loyal to their country, let them know you honor their heritage and celebrate it with them! They will do better with the English – not worse – when they know you appreciate their Creole!

        You will also save yourselves a whole lot of national pain and trouble in the years to come. You can trust me on this. I live in a country that has “been there, done that.”

        God bless you Ms. Jules-Royer for your wisdom :!: History will honor you.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Dominican:

      I agree with you 100 %!

      You can win this battle for Creole if enough people will stand up and speak out.

      It does not have to be one or the other. It CAN be and SHOULD be both.

      Shame on those who treat Creole as if it is an inferior language!

      Shame on those who treat those who speak it as if they are lower class people.

      Sorry, but I DO know what I am talking about. We have a situation similar to this in Canada. Years ago the
      loud mouth English white population forced the native Indian aboriginal children into their English schools
      where they were forbidden to speak a word in their native language which differed from place to place. They were stripped of their culture and violated in many ways. After all these years the hurt remains and it still festers.

      In Dominica you still have a chance to do the right thing.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. :lol:

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