Following the recent inclusion of the French speaking Caribbean islands to CARICOM and other regional institutions, French is becoming an increasingly important language in professional and business opportunities for Grenadians.
On the world stage, with over 110 million native speakers and another 190 million second-language speakers over 5 continents, French is placed as the 2nd most important foreign business language after Chinese Mandarin by a recent study published by Bloomberg. Meanwhile in the Caribbean, 1.5 million people speak French as their first language and 9 million people speak French in Canada, making it the language of the most striving economies in the region.
This school year the Alliance Française has the intention of stepping up its role to make the learning of French easier and more interactive. With the use of its interactive media room and practical driven learning methodology, the Alliance Française’s goal and focus is to produce French speakers. Magali Bongrand, its Director, said: “We launched a new advertising campaign with the tagline “Fabulous! Fun! French!” and we are really living by it. Our classes, for children and adults alike, include creative activities, conversation driven learning and the use of interactive technologies, in order to make the experience as enjoyable as efficient in terms of being able to speak the language quickly.”
As of September, the number of classes available at the Alliance has doubled. Adults are able to choose between morning and evening classes and children can choose between taking classes once or twice per week. CXC support classes and English language classes will still be available. Mrs. Bongrand informed in a press release that steps are being taken to also provide CXC support classes to St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s students.
In addition to the classes organised on the premises of the Alliance Française, French clubs will also be organised at a number of schools such as the Anglican High School, Westmorland, Montessori School and Grace Lutheran School. Mrs. Bongrand explained that she visited the principals of all primary and secondary schools in the St Georges’s parish to hear about the status of French language teaching at the schools and extend a helping hand to install French clubs at the schools: “we want to give a chance to all Grenadian students to improve their language skills and to one day be able to benefit from a scholarship at the University of the French West Indies or in any other French speaking country as well as being able to take full advantage of business and professional opportunities accessible in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Québec and other places”.
Besides its learning activities, the Alliance Française also offers a vibrant cultural agenda for the month of September, which started with a film projection to celebrate sports on Kirani James day, a photography workshop by Teddy Frederick, an art exhibition by artist Mr. Curives and patois classes.
More information on the classes and the cultural program can be found on the Alliance Française website: www.afgrenade.org