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UNESCO works with local commission to propel French speaking in St. Lucia

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Contact:  Kerwin Xavier


Thursday 30 June 2011 Saint Lucians are encouraged to become multilingual.  Following the signing of the linguistic pact between Saint Lucia and the International Organization for the Francophone (O. E .F) in October of 2010 - The Saint Lucia National Commission for UNESCO, the local coordinating organization for this project,  is finalizing plans for the implementation of the provisions of the pact.  Secretary General - Marcia Symphorien says essentially the objective of the pack is to promote the use of French Language in Saint Lucia. 



“In terms of the components of the programme it entails two major activities: one is the promotion of French within the schools system.  The second major objective is teaching of French for international relations; this is very important we think because we have a number of heads of departments, a number of government officials who go out and who have the opportunity to engage in discussions that could perhaps be very beneficial to Saint Lucia but again because of the language barrier are sometimes restricted in what they can discuss and what they can negotiate for the country.”  



Within the linguistic pact there are also provisions for Saint Lucian citizens who do fit into the brackets of the school system or the public service, to be exposed to the French Language.



“The third component involves making resource material in French accessible to the general public. And what we are hoping to do is to establish resource areas within the libraries throughout Saint Lucia so persons who want to access materials in French can do so very readily.  And the final component involves teaching of French to persons who are working within the Tourism Industry.  We recognize that of course having foreign language competencies is particularly important for those persons.”



Funding for the programme will be provided jointly by the International Organization for the Francophone (O. E .F) and the Government of Saint Lucia.


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