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Old November 29th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #1
Matthias Offodile
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Ghana to join CFA Zone?

Ghana should join CFA zone, not W/A monetary union

Quote:
Ayuure Kapini Atafori , 03/10/2006

Ghana should abandon its plans to join the proposed West African Monetary Zone, which has seen its commencement date postponed several times, and rather join the CFA monetary zone since she stands to gain more from it, given its location
, a leading economist has suggested.

"It is not economically viable for Ghana to join the West African Monetary Zone. To me, we should rather join the CFA zone, Augustine Gockel, a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana told a forum at Legon, Accra, on Friday.

Dr Gockel argued that since Ghana is surrounded by French-speaking CFA zone countries, it makes economic sense for it to be a CFA holder in order to transact business easily with its neighbours.

Dr Gockel's call is quite significant, especially coming on the heels of Ghana"s admission into 'La Francophonie the Commonwealth of French speaking nations.

Ghana´s joining of La Francophonie is of significant strategic mutual benefit because of our geographic, historic and even blood ties with Francophone countries. Our lives are intimately linked with the French world, particularly in our sub-region and this strategic association would give a big boost to addressing some of our mutual concerns, Foreign Minister Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told The Statesman from Bucharest, the venue for the association´s summit last Thursday.

In an interview with The Statesman later, Dr Gockel contended that based on the optimum currency area notion and practice, countries that are contiguous will immensely benefit from trade, commerce and industry when they circulate a common currency. �We trade more with Burkina Faso, Cote d�Ivoire and Togo. In fact, Togo is our biggest trading partner. While it is good to have some kind of arrangement with Nigeria, it is far from Ghana and there is very little cross-border trade.

He submitted that when Ghana joins the CFA zone, its market will be widened so that it can take advantage of economies of scale in the sub-region.

He averred that since Nigeria is also surrounded by CFA-spending francophone states, it is economically prudent for it to join the CFA zone rather than the West African Monetary Union.

He suggested that CFA should be more preferred than the proposed Eco of the union. Is it purely polarisation? Anglophone against francophone? If we want to have a common currency, why not join them at once in the creation of a common currency.�

Dr Gockel noted that the European Union started with private sector-led trade before it developed a common currency; but the English-speaking West African nations want to begin with a common currency. That, to him, is not the best way to commence a common currency for the sub-region.

The forum was organised by the Legon Economics Students Society in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to provide a platform for the academic community to contribute towards the preparation of the 2007 budget.

The theme of the forum was, Expectations in 2007 Budget - Inputs from Students and the Intellectual Community.
http://www.thestatesmanonline.com/pa...=780&section=2
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Old November 29th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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Old November 29th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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Mrs Girardin in visit to Ghana for La Francophonie

Quote:
Please find here under the press release of OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) relating to this visit :
**********
Mrs. Brigitte GIRARDIN, Spécial Représentative for la Francophonie in Accra (Ghana)

At the Quebec Francophonie Summit in October, the General Secretary of the Francophonie, His Excellency M. Abdou DIOUF wishes to highlight some specific actions designed to promote French language in the States and Governments which are members of the Francophonie. Seven States have been selected (Burundi, Ghana, Greece, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique and Romania). In each of these countries he has sent a special Representative.

For Ghana, Mrs. Brigitte GIRARDIN, former French Minister for Cooperation, Development and Francophonie has been mandated. Mrs. GIRARDIN was in the past very involved during the 2006 Bucarest Summit for Ghana membership as an associated member.

Mrs. GIRARDIN is in Accra from September 7 to 10th, 2008 for a first exploring mission to determine with the Ghanaian highest Authorities and the main partners involved in French teaching in Ghana the “initiatives-phares” (major actions) which could be highlighted during the Heads of State and Governments Summit at Quebec.

Four proposals have been suggested:

* Strengthening French language skills for Ghanaian diplomats and public officers acting in the international fields;
* Increasing the number of teachers for French language in secondary and tertiary education;
* Developing partnership for French teaching (specifically French for business) with privates companies and associations operating in Ghana;
* Creating bilingual (English and French) signs system for tourist sites and international areas.

These proposals are according to the Ghanaian will to strengthen French language. The country which has exclusively Francophone neighbors aims a better economic, social and cultural integration in the sub region.

At President DIOUF’s request, Mrs. GIRARDIN will return in Ghana in early 2009 for a follow up mission.


Here is a summary of the press conference dated september 9th at the Residence of France.

Mme Girardin, former Ministre for Cooperation, Development and Francophonie, came to Accra for three days (8th-10th September) as Special Envoy for the Secretary General of the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF). Her delegation included :

* H.E. Prof. Albert Owusu Sarpong, Ghanaian Ambassador to Paris

* M. Soungalo Ouédraogo, Director of Education & Training, OIF
* Mme Josiane Gonthier, Observatoire de la Langue Française
* M. Etienne Merseu Alingue, Director, Regional Office for West Africa

After her presentation, an English version of which was given to the Press, the following questions were answered :

Q : Isaa Monnie, Peace FM
On bilingual road signs, when so few Ghanaians actually understand French, isn’t it premature with the risk of confusing people , and shouldn’t we first train enough teachers of French ?

A : Mme Girardin
We must throw ideas and start projects without further delay. Bilingual road signs are intended not only for the minority of French-speaking Ghanaians, but for visitors from neighbouring Francophone countries . It will be a powerful symbol of Ghana’s tremendous effort at regional integration .

Another challenge is the training of French teachers, and not only the OIF but also other Francophone countries should offer Ghana their help to achieve that goal .


There is no contradiction between those two objectives and both can be pursued at the same time . When I met Mrs Ohene this morning, she was very keen on the idea of bilingual signs in public spaces, she even mentioned hospitals. Ghanains need to be exposed to the French language in their daily lives ; it’s a way to educate them and at the same time to convey a strong message to your neighbouring countries.
President Kufuor himself during a previous visit expressed his regrets for not being able to communicate with his fellow heads of state in their language, French.

Q : Samuel Narku Dowuona, Ghana News Agency

Did Ghana have to make a commitment on all those issues in order to become an associate member of OIF ?
Are there bilingual road signs also in Francophone countries ?

Do you have statistics on the number of French –speaking Ghanaians, and on the the number of English speakers in Francophone countries in Africa ?

A : Mme Girardin
We didn’t ask Ghana to make any commitment. It is not the OIF’s role to dictate anything to your government, but to salute Ghana’s strong political will to join the Francophonie, and to facilitate the process, at Ghana’s own rythm, by making a few suggestions.
In Paris Airports, all the signs are bilingual, and I am sure it is also the case in all international airports in Francophone Africa . One has to be pragmatic.

When I was Ministre for Oversea Territories, New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean had developed stronger economic ties with Japan than it had with France. So we decided to have bilingual signs in French and Japanese to encourage the Japanese to invest in and therefore benefit New Caledonia . It worked on a symbolic level.
As far as the statistics are concerned, we can look them up for you, but I am afraid I can’t give them now !

Q : The Statesman
What solutions can the OIF bring to the shortage of French teachers in Ghana ?
A:Mme Girardin
The OIF will not dictate its educational policy to Ghana, but it will give its full support, for instance for the conception of new teaching tools better adapted to the needs of Ghanaian pupils. Other Francophone countries can also help.

Q : Senyo Dei, freelance journalist
Can you be more specific ?

A:Mme Girardin

HE Albert Owusu sarpong, Ambassador of Ghana to France (Paris)
There is a shortage of 4000 French teachers, but there is also a problem in their training. The skills teachers develop in their pupils are reading and understanding, but not communicating. We must change that. French is a difficult language to learn. It doesn’t matter if pupils make grammatical mistakes as long as they communicate.
So we are faced with a double challenge : increase the number of teachers and change the way French is taught. The OIF has the necessary expertise to help Ghana on both aspects ;


Q : Caroline Boateng (Daily Graphic)
Beside the French language, doesn’t carry other values ?

A:Mme Girardin
Thank you for that question . When you join the OIF, you join a family united by a common language but also by common values. Thus the OIF is attached to cultural diversity, and through their lobbying, the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity was adopted .
Francophonie is more and more a political force to reckon with ; it celebrates and seeks to preserve the plurilingual and multicultural aspect of our world.

The OIF is equally at the forefront on democracy and human rights .
And last but not least, the OIF has several cooperation programmes in the fields of education and training .
When I was first introduced to Francophonie in 2005, I was pleasantly surprised, for I wrongly thought that Francophonie was all about the values of the past, the culture of an elite. But it wasn’t the case at all. Francophonie is modern and attractive, which is why we keep receiving new applications !

Q : Ghana News Agency
Does Francophonie promote the diffusion of local languages among its membership ?

A:Mme Girardin

The OIF respects the cultural and linguistic identity of its members. There is no imperialistic hidden agenda .
Among the seven countries which we will discuss in Quebec City as models for their efforts in promoting the goals of Francophonie, they are not all African ; Europe, the Near East and Asia are also represented. All seven need to be congratulated.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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Ghana joins la Francophonie as associate member

Quote:

General News | Thu, 12 Oct 2006

Ghana has joined la Francophonie as an associate member, in pursuit of her fundamental foreign policy objectives of establishing cordial relations with countries and organisations, which shared common goals.

La Francophonie is an organisation, whose member States used French as a common language.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday that Ghana's strategic decision to be the gateway to the West Africa Sub-Region made it imperative that it related more effectively with its neighbours and consequently draw on all the advantages of good neighbourliness and regional integration for their mutual benefit.

He said there was no doubt that the integration project in West Africa would be considerably enhanced by the decision to join La Francophonie, which acted as the equivalent of the British inspired Commonwealth.

Speaking at a press conference to announce Ghana's admission as an Associate Member to La Francophonie, Nana Akufo-Addo said based on the instructions by President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana applied earlier in the year to join the organisation adding that the outright admission to associate membership showed the confidence reposed in her by the organisation.

"There are three categories of membership - observer, associate and full. Ghana's outright admission to associate membership, while others were granted observer status, is clearly an indication of the confidence reposed in her by the generality of the members of La Francophonie."

Nana Akufo-Addo said established in 1986, La Francophonie had 56 members, whose aims and objectives were geared towards the achievement of international peace; security; the promotion of good governance; democracy; human rights; rule of law and socio-economic and cultural development of member States, which were goals that Ghana ardently shared.

"Furthermore, there are compelling reasons of blood, history and geography, which demand that we nourish close relations with our Francophone neighbours."

The Minister said Ghana was not the only Anglophone country that had joined the organisation but Anglophone countries including Seychelles, Cyprus, Vanuatu and St' Lucia were also members.

He said Ghana was bordered on the northern, eastern and western frontiers by countries that used French as a common language adding that Ghanaians from all walks of life must developed the linguistic capacity to communicate easily in the language of the people surrounding them.

He said Ghana chalked a landmark success at the 11th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Francophonie, which took place in Bucharest, Romania, from September 28 to September 29, 2006 under the theme: "Information Technology in Education when she was admitted into the organisation as an Associate member.”

The Minister said the summit, which was attended by about 37 Heads of State and Government, came out with an outcome document, “the Bucharest Declaration” on the resolution of the World Digital Solidarity Fund, international migration and development and climate change.

http://www.modernghana.com/newsp/103...te-member.html




Mozambique has an observer status..Ghana about to be credited full status
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Old November 30th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #5
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That decision is retarded. They should stay aliened with whatever direction Nigeria is taking. Nigeria's population is larger than all of the Franco nations put together and its economy is nearly twice as large as all of them put together.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #6
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Yeah Nsukka, this is more than retarded and wont really happen. They were talking about similar plans when I was last in Ghana in 1999, and according to my Dad, they were talking of similar plans in the 60s when he was at high school. There are SOME times when I am glad of empty unfulfilled rhetoric by African governments. So thats 40 years of planning but no action, there are very good reasons for this.....

1) Ghana has the highest standard of living in mainland West Africa and is also the most socio-politically stable.
2) The population of Anglophone West Africa is higher than Francophone. Nigeria and Ghana are the most populaous nations.
3) The biggest economy is Nigeria.
4) The importance of French as a global language, and even as a 2nd language in Europe, has been declining for some time now and Spanish and Chinese will no doubt supercede it. It was only in the 19th Century when French was still the language of European diplomacy, the days of the "lingua franca" are long gone.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #7
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Why French teachers have the blues

The French language is in dramatic decline around the world, including in its traditional foreign heartlands, according to international language teachers recently gathered in Paris. François Buglet reports.

French is disappearing from European classrooms in favour of English
The predominance of English on the internet, the relative ease of learning basic English and the perception that English is "cooler" - thanks in large part to popular music and films - means French is becoming ever more restricted to older generations and the upper classes of many countries where it used to be the second language of choice in schools.

That was the consensus among language teachers from across the globe who gathered in Paris in early February for the Expolangues trade fair, dedicated to language teaching, learning and translating.

[The site fittingly illustrates Francophony's predicament. Although sponsored by the French and held in Paris the site for this polyglot fair comes in only two flavors, French, bien sûr -- and English.]

"Some among us see a sort of victory in this. But personally, I side with a campaign in the British press against our deficit in learning languages," said Julie Squires, a Briton who teaches French at Oxford House College.

In Britain, she said, much of the problem lies with a recent government decision to make a second language optional for pupils aged 14 years and older.

Twenty years ago everybody spoke French in Spain but in Burgos now French teachers outnumber students!
She pointed to a study which showed that, across British schools, 72 percent registered a decline in the number of students learning French. German studies declined in 70 percent of the schools, while Spanish declined by just 44 percent.

A teacher from Germany's Goethe-Institut, Christina Trojan, said "French remains a beautiful language much appreciated by the upper class" but it was losing ground in curricula, even in areas near the French-German border.

French was still holding up compared to Italian and Spanish, but that may gradually change.

"Given the difficulty of the grammar and spelling, many prefer not to take up French," she said.


Only Japanese teachers talked of the future of French with enthusiasm
A teacher from the Spanish town of Burgos, Julia Martinez, said most of her colleagues agreed that French was "in free fall".

"Twenty years ago, everybody spoke French in Spain. Today, in Burgos, there are more French teachers than students!"

A teacher from Portugal, Teresa Santos, said in her country 70 percent of Portuguese students preferred to take English courses, compared to just 10 percent for French.

"English is magnifique!" a teacher of Ancient Greek at the Aristotle University in Thessalonika, Thalia Stephanidou, said. "Even in poorer neighbourhoods, that language - which replaced French right after the second world war - is taught, even to old people," she said.

There's only one French school in Greece, and that's reserved for the elite
"My grandmother spoke French, my father too. Today though, there is only one French school in Greece, and that's reserved for the elite," she said.

Even in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, English has crowded French out of the classroom, despite French being one of the country's official languages.
In Russia, where speaking French was once a prized talent among the tsars, French is trailing "far behind English" in Moscow and Saint Petersburg schools, Mascha Sveshnikova, of the Russian Cultural Centre, said.

David Fein, the head of the Alliance Française in the US city of San Diego, said French studies was part of the collateral damage suffered in the transatlantic fall-out resulting from the US decision to invade Iraq, but now it looked as though pupils were slowly returning.

Only two Japanese teachers talked of the future of French with enthusiasm, with one of them saying that the luxurious images the language conjured up were its best advertisement.

"Only two Japanese teachers talked of the future of French with enthusiasm, with one of them saying that the luxurious images the language conjured up were its best advertisement.

French, she said, evoked "dreams, fashion, history, cooking and wine."

February 2005
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Ghana isnt going to jump on this sinking ship anytime soon Matthias! As far as I know, Mauritius is the only nation in the world where French is on the ascendency.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #9
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popa1980, your comments are just nuts! Didn´t expect anything else....de la francophobie pour un Anglophone comme toi, cela ne me surpend pas du tout ...mais je crois que tu ne sois pas capable de suivre à quoi je vais allusions ici, n´est-ce pas? (Le Ghana est entouré par des pays francophones, "mon chéri", pour ta gouverne!!) Comme d´habitude , tes commentaires sont vraiment amusants à lire et rien d´autre pour moi!
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
That decision is retarded. They should stay aliened with whatever direction Nigeria is taking. Nigeria's population is larger than all of the Franco nations put together and its economy is nearly twice as large as all of them put together.
No doubt aboiut this...but say that to an Ivorian who are immesnely proud people despite what happened to their country.

Ivory Coast despite years of political crisis has not sunk and it is still NO.2 in West Africa although its population is way smaller than Ghana´s , for example.

The infrastructure, port system is among the most relaible in entire Africa. (again have to add outisde SA)

if they get their political act together, this nation will speed up very fast, bear that in mind.

Before 1999, Ivory Coast was Africa´s third largest economy bigger than Zimbabwe and even Kenya or Angola.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #11
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Matt, I dont understand French (nor do I wish to right now), could you translate please!

Yeah, Ghana is desperate to join a language group which is in global decline.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #12
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That´s for you Popa1980,your thinking ship theory, is that what UK French-haters like you leran over there?


Quote:
Arabic Surges in Foreign Language Classes
Spanish, French still most popular

by Justin Pope
Associated Press
November 14, 2007

http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/...lang14.article

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/4454


Foreign language courses are booming on American college campuses, a new study finds, with enrollment in Arabic more than doubling from 2002 to 2006.

The latest figures from the Modern Language Association of America, released Tuesday, reflect a major push toward internationalization on college campuses, more government support for language study and simply more interest from students. Over four years, total enrollment in language courses has grown 12.9 percent.

Spanish remains the most popular subject, with more than 823,000 students enrolled -- up 10.3 percent since 2002 and nearly four times higher than No. 2 French.

But Arabic is the fastest-growing major language, breaking the top 10 for the first time with just under 24,000 enrollments, compared to about 10,600 in 2002. The number of institutions offering Arabic has nearly doubled to 466, including both two- and four-year colleges.

Between 2002 and 2006, Arabic enrollment jumped from 222 to 482 at Georgetown University, from 37 to 156 at Boston College and from 65 to 184 at Arizona State.

Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Related Documents

Quote:
French and Spanish in Asia

Informer Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:13 am GMT
A Tour of Asia’s French-Speaking Countries

Vietnam : A French-speaking elite

While Vietnam’s elite speaks French, its civil servants and business community adopted English in 1994, the year of the country’s incorporation in ASEAN1. Once the main language, French has now become a second foreign language. Although French is still widely taught, it is being caught up by Mandarin, Japanese and even German, and its popularity is waning. 400,000 Vietnamese currently speak French but they represent an essentially aging population. The younger generation of Vietnamese, for its part, is turning to English-language cultures.

Some 100,000 pupils at all levels, i.e. 4.5% of the total, are learning French. At the beginning of the eighties, they were 10 times more. While the importance of French is diminishing in secondary schools, its status is more stable at the level of higher education. In 1992, the Aupelf-Uref2 and the Vietnamese Ministry of Education set up more than 500 bilingual classes, enabling 14,500 young children to learn French. The aim is to arrive, by 2006, at a proportion of 10% of students graduating from secondary school with French as their main language. Doctors, chemists, engineers, senior civil servants, lawyers and journalists all communicate in French. A number of newspapers such as Saigon Eco, Courrier du Vietnam… are published in French and every day Vietnamese TV broadcasts a news bulletin in French. It would seem, then, that while a French-speaking elite is establishing itself, the attitude of the Vietnamese towards French is still conditioned by the French-speaking companies locating in the region.

At the Hanoi Summit, six major French-language projects for cultural cooperation were launched in the Vietnamese capital, including the National Museum of Ethnography, a French and French-language bookshop and a 900 seat cinema dedicated to the screening of French and French-language films in the original version.

Eric de Lavarène, Journalist with Asie Magazine

1. The Association of South-East Asian Nations was founded in 1967 to promote regional economic cooperation. There are nine member countries: Burma, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
2. Association of universities based partially or entirely on the French language.


Laos : A successful cohabitation?

Between 1975 and 1989, Laos withdrew into seclusion. During those years, French was able to maintain its influence, despite the clear losses in popularity in Cambodia and Vietnam. The resumption of French, Swiss and Canadian cooperation in early 1990 provided a strong boost to the teaching of French at Vientiane (where the French Cultural Centre is located) as well as in the more accessible provinces.

Today, some 240,000 people are learning French (35% of students and pupils) and the setting-up of bilingual classes at the primary level is currently under review (no longer review, but enforced, see Darly’s post.) Most of the senior civil servants are French-speaking and the Laotian population remains favorably disposed towards French. While the north of the country is entirely under the influence of Chinese, the centre and south are divided between French and English. French is the language of choice for medicine, law and administration while English predominates in trade and finance

E. de L.


Japan : The cultural appeal


In August 1996, Japan played host for the very first time to the World Congress of French Teachers and, although Japan is not a French-speaking country, it is particularly fond of all things French. This attraction to the French culture and language is reflected in the record annual figure of 400 French or French-language cultural events. While the general public in Japan is interested more in the French way of life, it is France’s civilization and culture that appeals to intellectuals disenchanted by the materialism of the « economic miracle ».

As the language of literature and the land of the Rights of Man, French and France also represent a career springboard to Europe and to such industries as fashion, the arts and the hotel and catering trade for the young generations of Japanese. This is reflected in their growing interest in the international departments of French schools of commerce and the fact that some 5,000 Japanese travel to France each year to enroll in language courses.

In Japan itself, which has four Alliances and French Cultural Centres, 279,000 people study French, 90% of them students. 600 of the 1,000 university education establishments, including 13 private universities, provide French language tuition, and the Japanese Society for the French Language and Literature has some 2,000 teachers on its roster. French is therefore a language that is still widely studied, despite the competition from English and the Asian languages. To help boost the spread of French, young teachers are now relying on a restructuring of the French syllabus, with more references to the rest of the French-speaking world, and on the impetus provided by the Tokyo Congress and its slogan « Tracing the future, cultivating the difference ».

Emmanuelle Pavillon


Indonesia : A French-language community in its infancy

With 45,000 people learning French at all levels, i.e. only 0.11% of the total population attending school, Indonesia has one of Asia’s lowest rates for learning French. This situation is likely to deteriorate even further due to the reform of secondary education which, since 1996, has made learning foreign languages optional in secondary schools. At university level, Indonesia has four French departments and fourteen state or private universities offering French as an option. French is also taught in state schools specializing in tourism and in hotel and catering. As for the Alliances françaises, there are eleven of them and they attract some 1,500 students a year. However, they are up against fierce competition from the four French Cultural Centres (Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya), which have acquired a high profile following their educational and teacher training activities. In 1996, 6,500 students attended courses organized by the CCF.

Tirthankar Chanda, Journalist


Cambodia : French rapidly losing ground

Of the 13,000 students enrolled at Phnom Penh universities in 1997, more than half, i.e. 7,000, are learning French. Financed by the Cultural Centre or the Aupelf-Uref, the courses are provided by 25 French-speaking lecturers, whose work also involves handing over the relay to Khmer professors. The secondary level has 200,000 pupils learning French. Up until 1975, French was the first foreign language taught in the kingdom; by the end of the eighties, it had totally disappeared. With the opening, in 1990, of the Alliance française* and the implementation of cooperation ventures with various establishments, the teaching of French was given a new lease on life, even if it is still outpaced by English and Chinese. Each year, several dozen students are sent to France to pursue their studies.

France is also present in the tourist sector, where courses have been set up at Phnom Penh University and at the Royal Administration School, which holds seminars in French. For its part, the Cultural Centre attracts some 6,000 Cambodian students and trainee teachers and is also present at Siemreap, Kompong Cham and Sihanoukville. The French-language media are relatively well established in Phnom Penh, with programmes broadcast on the national TV channel, a daily newspaper Cambodge soir and a monthly magazine Cambodge nouveau. RFI and TV5 are also picked up in Cambodia. Most of the country’s elite, in particular lawyers, artists, academics and doctors, speak French.

E. de L.

* The Alliance française became the French Cultural Centre in 1994.


South Korea : Unexpectedly pro-French

Korea is Asia’s leading French-speaking country after Vietnam, based on the number of people learning and teaching French. It has six Alliances françaises and one French cultural centre. 320,000 pupils and 22,000 students are currently learning French in Korean schools and universities, making it the second language studied at university level, well ahead of German and Japanese and second only to English. Moreover, they continue to attract a student population essentially with a literary bias and predominantly female. It confirms once again the image of France as the « country of the arts and the aesthetic », all too often to the detriment of its technical and scientific achievements.

Stéphane Lagarde, Seoul-based journalist


The French-language community in Thailand : an anti-model?

For a long time French monopolized the « market » for the second foreign languages on offer to young Thais (English being the first language and compulsory); today, French is having to compete with Chinese, Japanese and German. Hence the change in balance: with around 45,000 individuals learning French for a population of 12 millions pupils and students, French is now less present in Thailand than it was in the seventies. Nonetheless, it remains the leading second language taught and benefits from a firm stronghold within Thailand’s education system: some 300 secondary schools and fifteen private and state-run universities ensure the teaching of French.

In fact, a large number of the country’s key figures, decision-makers and researchers are French-speakers, particularly in such fields as law, public administration, the humanities as well as in some unexpected sectors of activity such as the National Space Agency or the General Directorate for the Post Office and Communications.

This enthusiasm for the French language and culture is due notably to the pro-French attitude of the country’s elite, influenced by that of the royal family, and also by the strong cultural image of the French lifestyle, an image of France that is popular among young people.
For others, the success of French is due paradoxically to its image as a minority language within a regional complex marked by the predominance of English and the rise in strength of Chinese and Japanese. French and the system of values it evokes seems to constitute a sort of anti-model. For example in the current debates on constitutional reform, French law is clearly perceived as an alternative model to Anglo-Saxon law. A favorable trend to which the growing presence of French companies also contributes, not to mention the after-effects of events that have proved very popular in the country, such as the France 96 Technology Exhibition.

Gilles Louÿs, Office for Linguistic and Educational Cooperation, Bangkok


Singapore : A promising future


Singapore’s multi-ethnic society has four official languages: Malay - the national language -, Mandarin, Tamil and English, the language used in administration, business and education. Unlike the situation with English and what is referred to as a « mother » tongue (specific to the ethnic group), learning a third language is not compulsory for young Singaporeans (there are only one thousand pupils in secondary education). At university level, French is taught at all the establishments on the island. Some 1,000 students have enrolled French as an option at the four « Polytechnics » (equivalent to the University Institutes of Technology or IUT in France) and around 600 at the two universities.

Outside Singapore’s education system, there are two institutes worth mentioning. Firstly, United College, a private institute that recruits its pupils from the expatriate community and offers French courses to more than 800 pupils. And, more importantly, the Alliance française, undoubtedly the essential tool for teaching the language of Molière in Singapore. The Alliance offers training courses in all disciplines and attracts around 1,300 pupils to each two-month session. It is now considered a key cultural partner and is regularly contacted by the local authorities in order to participate in events as important as the International Film Festival or the International Arts Festival, which set the standard throughout Asia.

The Asian-European Foundation (ASEF), founded as part of the Euro-Asian Summit of 1996, is run jointly by a Singaporean and a Frenchman. Based in Singapore, this institution will undoubtedly contribute towards establishing French permanently in the region by setting up a political and economic partnership much sought after by both countries.

Roger Brunet, Official representative at the Alliance française


French in India : A privileged status


The French language owes its presence in India to both a network of Alliances françaises (15 offices) and a solid basis for the language itself in secondary schools, where French is the first foreign language to be studied by pupils. The total number of individuals learning French is around 300,000 for 3,000 teachers. At higher education level, French is compulsory in vocational schools dedicated to tourism and to hotel catering. It is also taught at 40 universities, of which 12 have a department for French studies. These departments are often very dynamic as demonstrated by the decision of the University of Pondicherry to organize a major international colloquium in December, 1998 on the French-language literatures of Africa. The reason why French enjoys a privileged status in India is probably due to the successful decolonization, in the fifties, of the five trading counters which France had owned in India since the 17th century. The best known of these counters is Pondicherry, which Nehru wanted to turn into « an open window on French culture ».

T.C.


China : Awakening to the French-speaking world

While three million Chinese viewers are said to regularly watch the « Bienvenue en France » programmes broadcast by the central television, French as a language is well and truly absent in China, where it is studied by only 12,000 people, including 500 secondary school pupils. It comes only fifth in the rankings of foreign languages taught and is essentially a university subject. In cooperation with the cultural services of the French embassy, the French departments at Beijing and Canton universities have set up graduate courses with a twin bias in international trade, business, management and tourism, with the subjects taught in both languages. The French-speaking companies present in China are then the natural outlets for graduates of these courses.

The situation of French is better in Hong Kong, where 2,810 pupils learn French at primary school level, 1,930 at secondary level and around 900 at university. While French may be losing ground at the secondary level due to the emergence of Mandarin, there is a strong demand from the university specialties in which foreign languages are linked to company management, accounting and business in general. Finally, the Alliance française in Hong Kong attracts more than 5,000 students each year.

http://laovoices.com/2008/01/26/a-to...ing-countries/
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Old November 30th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #13
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English is number just for 1 reason and that´s because of the US. If ever the US ceased as economic power even if it retains its military superpower and becomes poor then it's bye bye time for the English language as the number 1 global language.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #14
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Matt, I dont understand French (nor do I wish to right now), could you translate please!
Considering the fact that Ghana enters Francophonie and wants to adopt bilingaul signs, you should make an effort to learn it....it surprises me how blissfully ignorant anglopnes are! The entire world should bark in English, what an awful thought!

Anyway, British imperialims was handed down to the US by means of which British imperialism still continues to dominate the world, very clever.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:12 PM   #15
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I do hope that French, Spanish and Portuguese langauge WILL NEVER EVER SURRENDER to English, they have to fight -literally speaking - till the last drop of blood!


Brazil is a rising superpower and it is Portuguese-speaking, thank God! Brazilians love their language...Angola is rising power in Africa and Portuguese-speaking , too.

Spanish is very important in South America and even in the US..all to the detriment of English dominance, thank God! Even Philiipines will adopt Spanish langauge again.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #16
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Matt, great articles. But they dont contradict the fact that French is a dying world language, do they?

Also, this talk of Ghana and French has been going on for 40 years but no progress has been made for the reasons I outlined above.

I've travelled all over Latin America- and theres one language that everyone wants to learn so eagerly- ENGLISH!!! I met this Scottish girl who was earning £100/hour teaching English to business execs in Rio. What are the Chinese wanting to learn? French? NO, Spanish? NO. English is THE language to learn in China, the worlds most populous nation. And then there is India of course.

No matter which way you look at it, the ascendency of English is unstoppabale.

Viva ingles!
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #17
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Matt, great articles. But they dont contradict the fact that French is a dying world language, do they?

Also, this talk of Ghana and French has been going on for 40 years but no progress has been made for the reasons I outlined above.

I've travelled all over Latin America- and theres one language that everyone wants to learn so eagerly- ENGLISH!!! I met this Scottish girl who was earning £100/hour teaching English to business execs in Rio. What are the Chinese wanting to learn? French? NO, Spanish? NO. English is THE language to learn in China, the worlds most populous nation. And then there is India of course.

No matter which way you look at it, the ascendency of English is unstoppabale.

Viva ingles!
in your dreams, I do hope that I will still be alive to see the total collapse of the US gettin´ eaten up by its past faults, I will open up a bottle of champagne and sing songs of praise.

Anyway, South Americans are very proud of their Spanish and Portuguese heritage, go to any webpage and write in English, people will start to ask you why you don´t speak Portuguese or Spanish!

Your "Viva ingles" will never happen, English will be a very important global language on par with Chinese but other global languages will never give up

JAMAIS
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #18
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please wtach this, very interesting!!!


http://light.vpod.tv/?s=0.0.560573
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Old November 30th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #19
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French is a hit despite political tensions

Quote:
Friday 17 October 2008
Paris and Beijing may be feeling the political tension but 30,000 Chinese people are learning French. A success that has more to do with trade opportunities in Africa than a real passion for the French language.

Despite political tensions between Paris and Beijing, an estimated 30,000 Chinese take French lessons.


Everybody who’s in the job market right now or will be in a few years speaks English,” says Marie Rabin, who teaches French in China. “So they need to specialize by learning a new language.”


The French Alliance in Beijing counts 5,000 students and it is one of the country’s biggest French learning centres. Half of its students will go on to study in France, for sometimes very different reasons.


Love for French culture isn’t the only reason Chinese are learning French these days. Africa has become the new driving force behind China’s newfound interest for the French language.


“They need French […] to develop trade relations with French-speaking countries, and Africa in particular,”
says André de Bussy, the French Alliance’s general delegate in China.


French-speaking Chinese remain a minority compared to those who speak English, Russian, Korean or Japanese. But this could change : The Beijing’s French Alliance saw a 15% increase in student registration this year.

here is a report about French in China
...very interesting especiall China and Africa


http://light.vpod.tv/?s=0.0.560564
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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #20
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Quebec: is the dream still alive? A sovereign Quebec in the future?..in 1995 referendum it was missed slightly





Watch it:

http://www.france24.com/en/20081016-...it&navi=DEBATS

Quebec is already a magnet for people from the French-speaking world (from Europe and Africa)...
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