BONA SAWA

BONA SAWA

BILINGUISM FOR ALL IN CAMEROON

Bilingualism: Douala Public Urged to Make Use of English Language

 

 

DOUALA - JANUARY 29th 2008

© Cameroon Tribune 

 

 

National Bilingualism Week launched in Douala III council area.

 

The representative of the Governor of the Littoral Province has called on inhabitants in the province of Littoral to come out of their comfort zone and make use of their second official language, which is English. He was speaking during the launching of the National Day of Bilingualism. He said it is time people stop saying “speak in French and I will respond in English”. He said that is mediocrity which does not reflect bilingualism but every one must make efforts to be able to express themselves in both languages. Giving the theme and sub theme which are “Bilingualism, Factor of Scientific and Technological Excellence” and “Bilingualism, Key to Progress and Success”, he said bilingualism in every factor is a guarantee to national unity and progress in Cameroon.

 

The Provincial Delegate of Basic Education, Daniel Mongué in a speech, said the national day of bilingualism was instituted by a ministerial decree in 2002. The Secondary and Basic education, he said, has made progress to ensure that it is instituted in the school pedagogy. By this, he said they are promoting bilingualism by teaching English in both the nursery, primary and secondary level of education. He said this will help the students and pupil to become effective in both languages.

 

The Mayor of Douala III, Oumarou Fadil said Douala III is one of the most industrialised zones in Cameroon. It is a business inclined zone. “When you talk business you must be able to speak English” Fadil said. He urged the inhabitants to learn to speak English more while those who speak English should strive to learn French.

 

EFFA TAMBENKONGHO

 

 

 

Bilinguisme : des obstacles à la base

 

 

La peur de commettre des fautes et la cherté des cours de langues constituent parfois des entraves à la pratique courante du français et de l’anglais.

 

«How are you ? », demande Maurice Atango à son camarade de classe, Claude Bibeï qui répond : « Ça va et toi ? ». Maurice et Claude sont deux étudiants. Ils conversent aisément en plein campus de Ngoa-Ekellé, à la sortie des cours. Pendant que l’un s’exprime en anglais, l’autre, lui, répond en Français. Mais finalement, sans qu’on ne sache pourquoi, la conversation se termine uniquement en français. Fabienne N. et Alphonse M., étudiants et nouvellement inscrits en 1ère année de Droit à l’université de Soa, s’étonnent d’entendre un professeur dispenser le cours de Common Law exclusivement en anglais. Le prof ne tient nullement compte des étudiants sortis des collèges et lycées francophones. « Je ne savais pas que je serais confronté à un système bilingue d’enseignement où certains cours sont dispensés en anglais et d’autres en français », s’inquiète Alphonse. Heureusement pour lui, des étudiants qui l’ont précédé ont fait traduire le cours en français. Il lui en coûtera 1000 Fcfa l’exemplaire.

 

En cette semaine où la communauté nationale célèbre le bilinguisme, les difficultés sont nombreuses. Même pour les enseignants. La plupart ne maîtrise qu’une seule des deux langues officielles. Ils se retrouvent donc confrontés aux mêmes difficultés que leurs étudiants. « Chaque fois que je reçois la copie d’un étudiant anglophone, je suis obligé de recourir à un dictionnaire pour comprendre le sens de certains mots et parfois même le texte en entier. Cela me prend beaucoup de temps », affirme sous anonymat un professeur d’université. « Mes collègues refusent de faire de même et attribuent tout simplement de bonnes notes aux étudiants en ne tenant compte que du nombre de feuilles de composition remplies », regrette-t-il.

 

Beaucoup de francophones, bien que comprenant anglais, ne s’expriment pas couramment dans la langue de Shakespeare, qui est pourtant l’une de nos deux langues officielles. Parfois, c’est la peur de commettre des fautes qui prend le dessus. Cela est aussi dû à de nombreuses autres causes. Serges W., fonctionnaire, explique qu’il comprend bien l’anglais mais ne parle pas assez. « J’écris, mais c’est difficile de m’entendre parler », ajoute-t-il. Quant à sa compagne Françoise, ménagère, elle avoue qu’elle aimerait bien apprendre, mais parfois le coût des formations en langues est cher : « Nous avons la volonté. L’anglais est de toute évidence la langue d’avenir. Mais, les cours sont chers pour nous et les bibliothèques ne sont pas assez fournies ».

 

 

Marthe BASSOMO BIKOE

 

_______________________________________________

 

Tchebetchou Guillaume Raphael:« Cameroonians are Interested in Learning Both Official Languages »

 

 

Tchebetchou Guillaume Raphael, Director of the Yaounde Pilot Linguistic Centre.

 

What assessment can you make of the bilingualism situation of Cameroon?

 

Since the Presidency of the Republic decided to set up the bilingual programme and centres across the country, there has been a lot of improvement in making Cameroonians bilingual. We have been receiving more and more people at each of our centres. Taking the case of the Yaounde Pilot Linguistic Centre as an example, ten years ago, we had just about 800 students but now we have about 2,000 students each term. More and more people are interested in learning both official languages. There has also been a lot of developments as we have gone from the Yaounde Pilot Linguistic Centre to centres at the provincial headquarters.

 

Are Cameroonians very enthusiastic in knowing both official languages?

 

The Bilingual Training Programme is not the only institution that is supposed to train Cameroonians to become bilingual. It is an instrument of a policy which has many institutions at higher, secondary and primary education levels. Taking into account all these institutions, it has been noticed that many more Cameroonians are interested in becoming bilingual. Looking at primary schools, it has been noticed that there are more and more bilingual primary schools, more children from French-speaking families now follow the Anglo-Saxon system of education. There is a lot of development in this area. Cameroonians are no more lukewarm about being bilingual. Citizens are very interested in learning both languages. In different ministries, people feel confident using both official languages even if they still make mistakes which are normal. It is difficult to have a country of 16 million people of which all are bilingual. However, there is much to be done in the rural areas. We had to start somewhere and I think a good job is being done by all the actors involved in the bilingual programme.

 

Is the centre performing its role in ensuring that Cameroonians are bilingual?

 

We started as a project for the teaching of the English language to civil servants. Today, it is a bilingual training programme which means that we are promoting the teaching of both the English and the French languages. We receive learners from all sectors of the society. I think we are playing our role in ensuring that Cameroonians become bilingual. We are also trying to market the policy of bilingualism and many people who come to the centre are interested in learning the English language. But this does not mean that people are not interested in learning the French language.

 

Brenda YUFEH 



02/02/2008
0 Poster un commentaire

A découvrir aussi


Inscrivez-vous au blog

Soyez prévenu par email des prochaines mises à jour

Rejoignez les 441 autres membres