Welcome to the new world of English

Written by admin on September 4, 2008 – 2:57 pm -

Even though English has been accepted as the international language of business, the French Teachers’ Union doesn’t agree with a proposal presented by the Ministry of Education. Undoubtedly members of the Académie française, founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu to preserve the French language, agree with the union.

The French Minister of Education Xavier Darcos declared that speaking fluent English is essential to being successful. He has proposed that free English lessons be offered during school holidays and be accessible to everyone.

It’s anticipated that President Nicholas Sarkozy will back the plan as he’s publicly stated that English fluency is critical to attract businesses to France.

Xavier Darcos stated, “It’s a handicap to speak poor English. Affluent families send their children abroad to learn English, I’m offering lessons to everyone right here.” Undoubtedly, being able to communicate will create a more competitive playing field.

Times are changing. Just two years ago, former President Jacques Chirac stormed out of an EU summit meeting when a fellow Frenchman started making his presentation in English.

C’est la vie. Why do I feel that in the not too distant future, it’s going to be hard to have a conversation in French with anyone under the age of 40? For that matter, it already is.

Karen Fawcett is president of Bonjour Paris

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