Foreign languages make students more marketable – educator

Students at the French Day Festival
Students at the French Day Festival

Modern Languages Coordinator in the ministry of education, Charlene White-Christian, is of the view that introducing foreign languages at the Primary Schools will make students more marketable in the future.

She spoke to DNO at a Primary School French Festival which was held at the Goodwill Primary School on Thursday in observance of Francophone Day or French Day.

The day is celebrated in 56 Francophonie countries across the world.

“Our global society right now is growing and in order to survive out there you need to have a diverse range of languages and the introduction of French and Spanish in the Primary schools is very relevant,” she said.

She pointed out that it is important to study French since Dominica is located between two islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe, which speak the language.

She argues that it is good for students to start studying foreign languages as early as 12 since at that time “they are like sponges.”

She also noted that in her experience students have been eager to learn new languages and joked that, “we have a few students who actually speak in French accents, so the teachers are doing a fabulous job.”

At the festival four persons, who have promoted foreign languages in different schools, were awarded for their efforts.

They are: Dwayne Drigo a teacher from Massacre Primary, Elissa Guiste -Matthew of St. Martin’s Primary, Michele Henderson and Ross Loramol, a former French teacher who works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Certificates and medals were also given to the top french students in schools from around Dominica.

Dominica has been part of the Francophone world since 1979. Every year the International Francophone Organization requests that all 57 Francophone countries celebrate Francophone Day on March 20.

During that day students are encouraged to practice French or French Patois.



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  1. Pussinka
    March 23, 2014

    job well done

  2. Listening!!!
    March 22, 2014

    From a job opportunity and economic standpoint I think Spanish should be made mandatory in order to prepare our students to support the biggest global job market after English which is Spanish. Many corporations in the USA would like to outsource jobs to INTL educated workforce but need fluency in Spanish as the main requirement.

  3. St.Joe
    March 22, 2014

    Good view.But are we saying that we are educating our youths for the foreign markets?

  4. hey hey
    March 21, 2014

    they should begin learning before the age of 12, Chinese students begin learning English from the age of 5…so?

  5. Sylvester Cadette
    March 21, 2014

    I totally agree with Ms. White. One German philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein once said:

    The Grenze meiner sprache bedeuten the Grenzen meiner Welt – THE LIMIT OF MY LANGUAGE DENOTES (SIGNIFIES) THE LIMIT OF MY WORLD.

    I always wanted to learn foreign languages and now I am fluent in Russian, speaks some French (need practice) and now learning Spanish as mandated by my superiors at UN/ ITU to fulfill my functions more smoothly throughout Latin America. In fact I was so interested in Russian Language that I studied the structure of the language and methodology of teaching it as a foreign language. It is now important at international for a that I attend.


    We are now in a global village, so Guadeloupe and Martinique is like the next door neighbor, Venezuela, Cuba and the rest of Latin America is just down the road, Germany and Russia are a few blocks away.


    • Sylvester Cadette
      March 21, 2014

      should have said “Mrs. White- Christian” and not just Ms. White – Pardonne-moi Madame!!!

  6. grandbay boy
    March 21, 2014

    ca cest bon bagay.

    • latanty
      March 21, 2014

      ça c’est

  7. ian
    March 21, 2014

    As a native Dominican presently living in the UK, I share the view of this lady. I’ve always had that discussion with family members and friends of the importance of speaking another language. forward thinking, inspiring, innovative and fulfilling idea.

  8. observer
    March 21, 2014

    A very good initiative. Nice job Miss White, please keep on encouraging the students to do French. I think this is a wonderful event and I hope it continues every year.

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