Suggestion made to include French in national curriculum

Riener said there is a huge French market potential in Dominica
Riener said there is a huge French market potential in Dominica

Director of Alliance Francaise de la Dominique, Stanislas Riener, is making a case for the French language to be included in the national curriculum.

According to Riener, one third of the island’s visitors are French thus there is potential for the French market in Dominica.

“In Dominica, 26,000 French citizens visit the island… this represents one third of the tourist population per year,” he said on Wednesday. “This gives you an actual idea of the potential of the French market here in Dominica and is proof that there is a reason for the young generation who will enter the professional world to include the French language as a part of their curriculum.”

The Director also pointed out that Martinique’s entry into the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) creates opportunities in commerce, tourism, culture and academia.

“And also on a larger scale, since the French language is the second official language used for regional meetings within CARICOM,” he stressed.

To further make his case, Riener mentioned that learning French gives the opportunity to expand horizons and to gain access to French Universities “which are free of charge.”

“Or to pursue one’s professional goals in French-speaking countries such as France or Canada,” Riener noted.

He also said common understanding between Dominica and the French islands is being sought by creating exchanges for secondary school students especially with Martinique, which is a signatory of an educational agreement between the Ministry of Education in Dominica, the French embassy and the Alliance Française.

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25 Comments

  1. Juanito
    March 13, 2015

    C’est une bonne idee . Y tambien Espanol por favor! We should all be trilingual to begin with.
    The three main languages in the Caribbean basin and the Western hemisphere. (Dutch and Portuguese optional.) we don’t need government we can start the process individually.

  2. Molly
    March 13, 2015

    Please note French is in the National Curriculum already. The at is why there is a show around the time to test the skills of the schhool in the French language we need to guide people. My dayghter at age 6 speaks the french language fluentlly.

    • Malgraysa
      March 13, 2015

      It should be compulsory and not optional. I would like our children to gain an advantage, not just be on par with our neighbours. There is no reason we can not excel, particularly in French since we have already have a useful nucleus in our local creole. Knowledge of French would also make it easier to master Spanish (similar grammar, common roots in vocabulary etc.).

  3. March 13, 2015

    This is a very serious issue but a good one…First of all I think that the english language should be prioritised first ;because even the young teachers speak a very bad english and children even worse…The two letter word “am” is very often thrown away by a large number of people in dominica…I personally met children of dominican parents in guadeloupe ;I spoke to them in english and they only looked at me with no reaction,then i realised they could not understand what I was saying ,,,this is a serious matter and the parents are to be blamed…I hope the gov’t will invest as much as possible to make this programme become a reality because speaking many languages can only makes life easier….

  4. March 13, 2015

    I really thought that was the case a long time ago. Most people speak or understand it and so I don’t see why it should’t .

  5. Francisco Telemaque
    March 12, 2015

    I do not see a case making in this one since it was traditional to teach French in some secondary Schools in Dominica, including the DGS, and SMA, they even taught some Latin at the SMA. Guy’s such as the late Fred Henry, the father of the Stain-Burg Henry spoke three foreign language including Latin and French he learnt during his tenure at the SMA; that was in the late 1950’s.

    In recent years, I know for a fact Jonathan Prevost M.D., also took French in secondary school in Dominica, I do not know where he took Spanish, but he is fluent in both Spanish, and French! French was always in secondary circular; now after independence everything must have changed!

  6. The Facts
    March 12, 2015

    This is an excellent idea to make Dominica bilingual and that all students learn to speak the French language. Consider that it is supposedly independent of G.B., this should have been done a long time ago. Anyway better late than never.
    The French language of France, Guadeloupe and Martinique is somewhat different from the Canadian French, especially in the Province of Quebec. Therefore, ensure that real French, Parisian French, as it is (was) called is taught in Dominica.
    Later, interested D/can adults could learn this language.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      March 14, 2015

      Nonsense, grammatical French regardless of whom speaks it is the same. Now if you are suggesting difference in dialects, I may not argue with. It is the same pertaining to Spanish. I had to take Espanol as one of my prerequisite prior to medical school.

      My final grad in Spanish was an “A” however, when I try to use Spanish in the streets, I could not understand most of what the people said to me, and mind you they are people from south of the San Diego boarder, (from Mexico). In classes where we had to totally engaged in speaking Spanish, we all understood each other, because we spoke the real thing Now do not try to communicate with me in Spanish, I did not use it so i lost it, I was practically fluent in Deutsche, I lost it all after leaving Germany. You have people in Canada and France Guadeloupe who are dunce, just because they are born there does not mean they speak proper French.

  7. Nacinimod
    March 12, 2015

    Not only teaching French in the publics but there should a formalized exchange program (if not already in place) between D/ca and her neighboring French islands.
    Nonetheless, good ideas cost money and thus a comprehensive French curriculum will cost quite a bit of Euro dollars.

    • Titiwi
      March 13, 2015

      Not Euro Dollars Nacinimod, simply Euros ….not everything in the world is dollars you know. Love your idea of an exchange programme. Perhaps we could start with secondary school students, ours going to Martinique & Guadeloupe and their coming to stay wih families in Dominica. (wonder how many of ours would want to come back after tasting all the goodies available in our neigbouring islands!). Anway that would be a good education for either side.

  8. ParoInRoseau
    March 12, 2015

    Great idea. I do hope that this idea is listened to and will be put in place immediately! It is rather weird that French isn’t in the National Curriculum when we are situated between two French Islands.

  9. anonymous
    March 12, 2015

    It actually is in the national curriculum already. It would be a better idea to suggest making it compulsory in all high schools.

  10. Titiwi
    March 12, 2015

    Excellent idea but we should first learn to speak- and write our own language properly.

    • Malpardee
      March 12, 2015

      U right on that one because the way i hear people on the radio is problems. U have to know the place and time to speak and write properly period.. We use our little eh doe e. t. c but i feel so embarassed when people use that on a professional level. But it is a good idea to be fluent in french..

    • out of south city
      March 13, 2015

      Do we really have any language of our own? Yes, it’s a good idea to be multi-lingual since these languages are spoken in the Caribbean but all these are European languages.
      So sad that we don’t really know any African language and I do understand that our forefathers were forbidden to speak their languages and therefore adopted the European languages. Even on the continent, these languages are widely spoken. Integration has taken a lot away from us.

      ONE LOVE

  11. Truth
    March 12, 2015

    The way this country seems to be going, learning a little Chinese may seem to be a better option….LOL

    • anonymous
      March 14, 2015

      It would be better to think “the way the world economy is going” our citizens would be at a distinct advantage knowing the chinese language. We must start to think global and not limit our scope to only Dominica.

  12. Dominican
    March 12, 2015

    bonne idée (good idea)!

  13. anonymous2
    March 12, 2015

    Foreign languages in the school system is a good idea. There is no text available for Patois although Mr. Honychurch wrote a book that is now out of print.

    • george Fontaine
      March 13, 2015

      Patois is a broken language. Why would one want to learn that? How about Creole which is more widely spoken in the region than English?

      • Malgraysa
        March 13, 2015

        George, creole is a patois. Patois is the local dialect of a region from the original French (meaning: rough speech) – at least that is what the Oxford dictionary says.. So you could also have Spanish based patois, papiamento for example. I see nothing wrong in speaking our local patois, provided we also master English.
        It enhances our culture.

  14. uk Dominican
    March 12, 2015

    Dominica is between two french island naturally we should make the most of it,

  15. Cyrique
    March 12, 2015

    I fully support this idea. Our children should be bilingual and French is the natural choice. Many French children speak English therefore our children should be on par. I was bilingual at the age of five speaking English and French as a second language. It’s something that’s contributed hugely to my Carrer thanks to my parents.

  16. concerned
    March 12, 2015

    So true. I second that

  17. Ma Moses
    March 12, 2015

    Quite frankly, I am surprised we are not doing that already. If Martinue’s OECS association is to mean anything the French language should be a compulsory subject at every level of secondary education.

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