Teaching the French language along with the English [Archives:2003/679/Culture]

October 23 2003

By Mohammed Saeed al-Mikhlafi
For the Yemen Times

The willingness of learning more than one language plays a great role in making people able to communicate with other communities in order to cope with the recent scientific, technological and up- to- date knowledge.
The new orientation in teaching French language along with the English is adopted by Aden University’s faculty of Education. This new policy has starred up a new problem which has aroused much of controversy and discussions amongst students in the collage. Some would support this new orientation and others could hardly believe in its benefits.
As a result of field visits and sounding out ideas of students and university professors at the faculty of education, English department in Aden University, I gathered various ideas and opinions of the subject in question and have come out with report.
Mohammed Ali Shabbin, forth level, says he finds it very difficult to study French along with English intensively in this level without being given an earlier chance to have courses in French language in first and second years. So what use will we gain after graduating, if we learn it without a proper academic plan?
Ghada Saleam Al-Attar, a student level 1 says “In my opinion, it is useful and cause no distraction, so I enjoy learning French and English as well, after I Finish the collage these two languages will be of a great help to get job opportunities.’’
Mutasem Mohamed Al-Odaimi, level 2, “ think it is a mere distraction of our minds, because we have a serious problem in learning two languages. My aim for joining this collage was to study and focus on English, but I became astonished, when the French was added beside the English, so I advise myself and my colleagues that we have to create a stimulus to study more than one language”.
Nada Al-Shameree, level 2. ‘’ My study of the English language helped me more in learning the French language along with the English”
Basma Al-Baidhani. Level 4 has said to study an intensive course in French at this level causes many difficulties, because we did not have begun to study it from the first level. This reminds with a famous proverb of “Jack of all trades masters none”.
Hajer Nour Al-Katheari third level, “It seems very ambitious to study French and English, but what is going on is the opposite. We devote much of our time to study French more than the essential main objective which is to study English”,
Tahani Ba Maged Second level, “There is no distraction in studying French along with English, as it is very important in our daily life for communication with external world,’’ she stressed.

University teachers:-
Dr. Abdullah Al-Kaf, English department, Aden Faculty of Education said that it seems great to have more than one language, definitely, “French” the language of the law, but what actually happens in our college is that the atmosphere is inadequate to teach French as it should be because the general level of the college students studying English is very “poor” they need time to study English as one subject. In addition to that the intensive French courses, in the forth level, causes many problems and makes students frustrated.
It is preferable to teach French from the early stages along with English, so that students can learn it more easily.
Dr. Lakhdar Bencoula, the head of French department sees that French language is not by means a problem that students may face.
The main goal for teaching French along with English is to open new scientific and professional horizons for the Yemeni students, since learning languages has become very necessary for its significance for further knowledge and world communication.
As we stated before, there is an official document from the ministry of education, we have already received, which puts fingers on paying more attention to teach French in Aden Faculty of education, as it qualifies teachers who are capable to teach French in Secondary schools”
Abdulrahman Ahmed Mohamed Naji, lecturer of French language in the faculty of arts and education. He stresses that to claim there are difficulties that our students encounter, seems illogical, but the real problem is to create a stimulus among our students to learn languages.
It is well known scientifically that the one who learns a foreign language could learn another one more easily. In addition, there are large numbers of graduates who are able to speak French and some teach it in secondary schools.
Dr. Maha Bazoheir, Educational Psychology department gives her view in this regard. She started with saying that learning two languages can not cause any distraction for the students that may happen when these two languages have resemblance in some linguistic aspects, but we can not apply this example in our case that was claimed by students. It is preferable to teach French by starting from the early stages “First year”, second and so forth.
This academic way will help students learn French beside English more easily.