Sacre bleu! French in uproar over plan for courses in English
PARIS — There was a time, not so long ago, when anyone with a proper education spoke French. Even today the country cares so much about its language it maintains a whole ministry to promote it.
So when Higher Education Minister Genevieve Fioraso last week introduced a bill that would let French colleges teach more courses in English, even when English is not the subject, the idea sparked outrage.
The goal, she explained, is to attract more students from such countries as China, Brazil and India.
“Ten years ago, we were third in welcoming foreign students, but today we are fifth,” she said in the magazine Nouvel Observateur. “Germany has put in place an English program that has passed us by. We must make up the gap.”
Her plan has united people from across the political spectrum who insist that learning French should be part of any foreign student's experience in France.
“You cannot image an idea that is stupider, more counterproductive, more dangerous and more contrary to the interest of France,” Jacques Attali, an adviser to the late President Francois Mitterrand, intoned in a blog.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Obama, India PM forge deals on major issues
- Islamic nations lobby Palestinians to join ICC
- With help from U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurds retake strategic border town
- Virus traced to mosquitoes in Latin America causes severe joint pain
- Mystery over North Korean leader fuels health rumors
- Belgium accuses Muslim group of radicalizing, training youth to fight in Syria
- 10,000 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan as security treaty is finally signed
- Sides reach out to undecided in Hong Kong
- Venezuela’s Maduro says airlines wage ‘economic war’