Alright I don’t often talk politics but I truly feel that I have a platform to do so and I have a personal investment on a current issue in french parliament.
I just have to finally say that I have had ENOUGH!!!!!to all lawmakers. It seems that every single time that there is a law to be voted on legislators chalk it up to be the end of the world and that this one system of law is going to “boulverse” the entire construction of our current society.
Yesterday the French parliament voted with a large majority the permission to teach in English in French universities. The French parliament members didn’t want the proposition to pass because they basically said: We are French and we only want to teach in French in our universities we don’t want our entire system overrun by English. As if allowing a few courses, when the application of English is a pedagogical positive, the option to be taught in English would automatically make every single class in French universities taught in that language! The whole thing is absurd!
Previous to this French university courses were only taught by French professors, with the exception of English Language/cultural courses applying to English Language studies that could be taught by an Anglophone who had passed an exam stating that their level of French was that of a native-speaker. So basically even English courses were taught in French.
As an ESL teacher I find this concept ABSURD!
I also have the experience of having been a student in the French higher education system. When I took advanced language classes in France they were taught ONLY in their native language. The teachers even communicated that it was an essential pedagogic element that their students were not translating French into their native tongue but assuming the language as their own. Learning French in FRENCH. It seems like a very simple banality, even a stupid logic but the only way to truly learn a language is to learn that language fully. You cannot do that if you are constantly translating meanings. So why not apply this very same thought practice to their teaching of foreign languages to French students?
In short: The most effective way to learn English is by learning it in an English environment. It is not possible to teach English in French. Or perhaps it is but you are putting the students at a massive disadvantage! Case in point: Francois Holland.
In the first few months after his election François Holland was RIDICULED in the French Press and by ex-pats when he wrote a letter congratulating president Obama on his reelection. This letter (written in French) was signed by the French president’s hand “Friendly, François Holland”. And no one at the Elysée thought to correct this? Today the president’s inability to wrestle with languages other than his own is a running joke in the press.
On the 22nd of May 2013 in Germany, where he had enough trouble speaking in German when he goofed up the exact same phrase that he had memorized for the same event the year prior, Hollande said candidly “It is raining in Paris since one year.”.
*Jaw drops to the floor*
I can’t even BEGIN to say how grammatically incorrect this is. This is the best example of why you cannot simply translate French word for word into English and spit it out like a pumpkin seed. “Eight words three errors”. M.Hollande is the product of the French educational system where it is REQUIRED to study English. Either M.Hollande barely slippped-by or the traditional system failed him.
See images below, skip to 1:22 for the word vomit in English but back up to :55 to watch him butcher everything of Germanic origin from the very beginning.
France:You already have enough troubles on your plate with your ultra conservative party that says to anyone who has even a hint of an origin that they have deemed unfrench “Moi francais, moi parle francias” even when that person is very obviously FRENCH and capable of understanding you. Don’t be so closed-minded that you won’t even allow students the opportunity to educate themselves.French students in medicine are having difficulties working with an international community because the majority are educated in english and they are at a disadvantage keeping up with the curve.
and this goes for America as well: Having a population that can communicate well and eloquently with another culture does not diminish you national identity but enhances it! The more people know the smarter they are! (DUH) and the more they can be respected by those who view them. The young souls we are nurturing today are our future as was well-stated by Jeff Bliss an enraged high school student in a cellphone captured video that went viral last month in the US toting the tagline “Teen says everything that is wrong with our country”. If you don’t want your national leaders mocked by the international community and by consequence the face value of your entire culture tarnished, try to provide the future politicians (or whatever field they choose) with as many resources as you can. What is it that you are really afraid of honestly? Do you not want the people of your country to be intelligent because you yourself are afraid of seeming idiotic if you don’t put forth the effort to better yourself?
And so I come back to my original point: America and France: I’ve had ENOUGH of these lawmakers who react to any law as if it was some extreme that is there to rip-away evey single one of your rights and priviledges granted to you by the democratic process whatever the cause may be: gay marriage, gun control, the death penalty,(issues on which I am not taking any stand on in this blog because I make a conscious CHOICE not to discuss them in an open and public forum) or allowing a foreign language to be taught in you schools.
Just because some of your classes in university have the CHOICE to be taught in English does not mean that in a few years the French language will be forbidden. One UMP Parliamentary on Thursday said in a mock-threat “Shall we speak English in this parliament one day” to imply that by allowing English in the university will be some flood-gate that will suddenly allow it to infringe on their political platforms. You are not being colonized or invaded you are just allowing your students the best education they could receive without having to go across the Channel. Not to mention opening doors for international communities that could be interested in studies in France without the language barrier which can only mean more money flowing within the currently failing French economy.
Giving people the right to make CHOICES is what democracy is all about. And just because you allow someone to make a conscious choice does not mean that your own choice to do the opposite is in any way diminished or imposed upon.
All of the views stated in this blog are purly editorial and reflect only my personal views and are in no way meant to be news or persuasive.