Chief Education Officer, Melina Fontaine, is encouraged by efforts to keep the Creole language alive in Dominica.
Fontaine made reference to successes at preserving the language when she addressed the opening ceremony of the Creole Spelling Bee Competition on Wednesday.
“It used to be that you would only hear Creole being spoken in the rural areas. Today because of all our efforts to keep the Creole language alive, we can hear the Creole Language being spoken everywhere including within the schools, particularly on Creole Day during the Independence celebrations,” she stated.
She continued, “Today we can boast of much language diversity in Dominica. We have moved away from just the Standard English being accepted and the belief that Creole is sub-standard. Today we have a better understanding of it as being part of our identity of who we are as a people. It is also one of the areas we should not suppress and should be proud of it. It is a good thing to know several languages and we have begun to accept that Creole is a language that should not only be spoken but written.”
The Chief Education officer hails the production of a Creole Dictionary as a success story in the preservation of the traditional Creole language.
“We now have a Creole Dictionary and other literature written in Creole. A special mention must be given to Felix Henderson, who really keeps it alive everyday through DBS’s Espayweans Creole,” Fontaine said.
The Kweyol Spelling Bee Competition organized by the Cultural Division held on Wednesday at the Arawak House of Culture saw the participation of eleven primary schools.