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Old 10-12-2018, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,169,523 times
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https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/r...guage-20180810

This is interesting. French-speaking Rwanda snubbed French for English about ten years ago. Now the are re-thinking that.

What's better for Rwanda? French or English?

Last edited by Tiger Beer; 10-12-2018 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Louise Mushikiwabo has actually just been confirmed as the new head of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:30 PM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
632 posts, read 287,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/r...guage-20180810

This is interesting. French-speaking Rwanda snubbed French for English about ten years ago. Now the are re-thinking that.

What's better for Rwanda? French or English?
If they can do both, that is better for them.

Rwanda is one of the only sub-Saharan African countries where virtually everyone shares the same mother tongue -- Kinyarwanda. I think they already use Kinyarwanda for teaching in the primary school grades.

Sub-Saharan Africans are also *notorious* for not using / not wanting to use a native African vernacular for formal, official, state communication.

Many Rwandans already have competence in French. So, it would be a waste to jettison French all together. Now, many also know English. So, if they can fit both into the school system curricula, they would have the best of both worlds. French and English are both important in Africa and globally.

Swahili would also be important. For example, Tanzania is deep into Swahili. Kenya is behind them, but still heavy into Swahili. Eastern DRC is also Swahili-speaking. A few years ago, Uganda added Swahili as an official language. These countries geographically surround Rwanda. So, maybe they should teach Swahili in the schools as well... if they can fit it in. You don't have to teach just language, you can also teach in/through a language (such as maths, science, etc.).
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:15 PM
 
Location: In transition
10,132 posts, read 11,884,692 times
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I think they should emphasize neither English nor French but rather Kinyarwanda. It should be used in all spheres of life in both official and unofficial contexts. It is their national heritage and they all share the same language so why wouldn't they? It's not like there are multiple major languages that need to have a neutral language to use between them. Give students the option of English and French as a foreign language but keep the language of instruction in all subjects except foreign languages in Kinyarwanda all the way through university.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:26 PM
 
Location: London U.K.
1,463 posts, read 635,907 times
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Don’t know much about Rwanda, never been further south than Senegal, now there’s an accent that’ll blow your mind, and make you glad that lots of Sénégalais can handle English.
However, I got off a train from Casablanca, Morocco, at Marrakech many many moons ago, got in a smart Mercedes cab, and asked for a reasonable hotel, clean, but not necessarily 5 star.
The driver looked at me like I’d come from Mars, and said, “Comprends pas, est-ce que vous parlez français?”
Fortunately I parlezed enough français to get me to a reasonable hotel, so as far as I’m concerned the more Africans that can handle French, the easier it will be for me to get by.
ETA, been to South Africa, my French didn’t help, but being able to decipher a bit of Dutch signwriting was a Godsend.

Last edited by Jean-Francois; 10-12-2018 at 06:30 PM.. Reason: Added text
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:41 AM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
632 posts, read 287,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb78 View Post
I think they should emphasize neither English nor French but rather Kinyarwanda. It should be used in all spheres of life in both official and unofficial contexts. It is their national heritage and they all share the same language so why wouldn't they? It's not like there are multiple major languages that need to have a neutral language to use between them. Give students the option of English and French as a foreign language but keep the language of instruction in all subjects except foreign languages in Kinyarwanda all the way through university.
People complain that European colonial powers divided up Africa in such a way that different ethnic groups speaking different languages were dumped in together... leaving modern-day African countries at a disadvantage. However, Rwanda is not like this. It is more like the classic European nation-state, as in one nation, one language.

Nevertheless, Rwandans have not seen it fit to create learning/teaching materials beyond the primary school levels. So, for Rwandans to continue to learn past primary school, they have to learn English or French. The government of Rwanda, civil society of Rwanda, and individual Rwandan citizens have not risen to the task of translating textbooks into Kinyarwanda or producing original textbooks in Kinyarwanda. So, they still rely on the languages imposed by European colonialists for higher learning, for higher, more complex subjects and concepts. They do not have to, but they do.

In the Czech Republic, which has fewer people than Rwanda, Czechs can study in their native language from their first year in primary school all the way through the university. Not in Rwanda.

Even Ethiopia, which was never colonized and has no European official language uses English as the medium of teaching at the high school level. Primary school is in Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali, etc. (depending on the region within Ethiopia), but at high school everyone has to start using English. It really holds the country back because so few Ethiopians have a decent, working command of English.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: In transition
10,132 posts, read 11,884,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ner View Post
People complain that European colonial powers divided up Africa in such a way that different ethnic groups speaking different languages were dumped in together... leaving modern-day African countries at a disadvantage. However, Rwanda is not like this. It is more like the classic European nation-state, as in one nation, one language.

Nevertheless, Rwandans have not seen it fit to create learning/teaching materials beyond the primary school levels. So, for Rwandans to continue to learn past primary school, they have to learn English or French. The government of Rwanda, civil society of Rwanda, and individual Rwandan citizens have not risen to the task of translating textbooks into Kinyarwanda or producing original textbooks in Kinyarwanda. So, they still rely on the languages imposed by European colonialists for higher learning, for higher, more complex subjects and concepts. They do not have to, but they do.

In the Czech Republic, which has fewer people than Rwanda, Czechs can study in their native language from their first year in primary school all the way through the university. Not in Rwanda.

Even Ethiopia, which was never colonized and has no European official language uses English as the medium of teaching at the high school level. Primary school is in Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali, etc. (depending on the region within Ethiopia), but at high school everyone has to start using English. It really holds the country back because so few Ethiopians have a decent, working command of English.
I think the Ministry of Education in Rwanda needs to prioritize creating course curriculums at the higher level so people can study in Kinyarwanda all the way to the end. I think the reason why it hasn't happened is most likely because people there believe if they study in Kinyarwanda that they will lose English or French proficiency but that's not necessarily true. Look at the nordic countries which speak languages with fewer speakers than Kinyarwanda. A person in Denmark can study in Danish all the way to the end of their schooling with English and French as foreign languages and still gain good proficiency in the foreign languages.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,520 posts, read 3,100,674 times
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I would prefer they learn english
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