In a bid to promote French language learning in the state, Lagos has signed a letter of intent that will enable the promotion of learning the language in public schools in the state. Emmanuelle Blatmann, the French ambassador to Nigeria, on Monday signed the letter of intent rekindling the two countries’ commitment to collaborate to further promote the French language in public schools. This big step has the potential to promote bilingualism and broaden the educational opportunities available to students in Lagos.
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships made a statement after the letter of intent was signed, saying that French is not just a language of culture, but also a language of business and opportunity for all who study it. It’s incredible, he said, that so many people in Nigeria are interested in learning French because the language connects people in 88 countries. This may pose a great benefit given that all Nigeria’s neighboring countries are francophone with substantial French presence.
French technical experts will advise on training teachers.
Existing cooperation between Lagos State and the French Embassy is one that has undergone for a long time and has produced positive results. Additionally, the government of Lagos State has frequently indicated an interest in fostering the learning of French as a second language. Not only does the signing of the letter of intent reaffirm preceding agreements, but it also heralds the official commencement of an ambitious programme to modernize the teaching and learning of French in public secondary schools in Lagos.
With the appointment of a French technical expert who will serve as the French language advisor in the Ministry of Education of Lagos State, the groundwork for educational and linguistic cooperation has been created between the countries. The expert’s role will be to advise the Ministry on effectively enhancing teachers training as they oversee innovative projects in 10 public schools. Over the course of several years, several forms of collaboration have promoted French language learning and teaching.
2,042 trainees earned the DELF in the previous year.
An example of such forms is the Alliance Française-Mike Adenuga Centre, a non-profit organization that serves as a model for the international Alliances Françaises movement. Nigerians visit the famed cultural place because it doubles as a language center where adults may learn French and take tests for genuine French certifications. There were 2,042 trainees in 2022 who earned the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF), a certificate that can be used to gain employment or further education in French-speaking nations.
More so, note that the Lagos State Ministry of Education has hosted the Ikeja chapter of the Alliance Française de Lagos since 2006, thus allowing a greater number of Lagosians to the French language and francophone cultures. The Lycée Français Louis Pasteur de Lagos is another symbol of the camaraderie and cooperation between France and Nigeria. With an emphasis on language study, the school accepts students of various backgrounds and cultures, fostering an environment where everyone can learn from one another. The Lycée français helps students develop deep and abiding connections to France by fostering their capacity for cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.
It can expand French role as a global language of communication.
Similarly, in Abuja, Nigeria, there is an outpost of the international network of French Institutes known as the Institut français du Nigéria (IFN). The institute also hosts about 2000 students annually from a wide range of demographics for whom they provide French lessons, courses, and examinations. Through the development of innovative pedagogical tools and the production of French radio and podcasts, this project has the potential to significantly expand French’s role as a global language of communication. This will allow for more consistent oral skill practice and improved DELF exam preparation.