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Opinions & Interviews

16 Nov 2016

French language studies named important for Belarus-France dialogue

French language studies named important for Belarus-France dialogue

MINSK, 16 November (BelTA) – Encouraging people to learn French is important for the dialogue between Belarus and France. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Belarus Didier Canesse made the statement during the latest Belarusian-French seminar for directors of secondary schools with bilingual French language study groups and their coordinators, BelTA has learned.

According to the diplomat, it is important that the seminar is held every year. Didier Canesse described the event as a good platform for discussing cooperation in education and for popularizing the French language. “About 274 million people speak French all over the world. French is spoken in many international organizations,” remarked the Ambassador. In Belarus about 27,000 people study French, including school students.

There are bilingual French language study groups in every oblast and Minsk. School students can join such groups once they are in the eighth form. Apart from studying French such groups spend a lot of time studying other disciplines in French. Such French language study groups have worked in Belarus for about 20 years. In 2015 the Belarusian Education Ministry and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement on the operation of bilingual French language study groups in Belarus. The signing of the agreement heralded the beginning of re-organization of the French language study groups in Belarus as well as their recognition as part of the national education system.

French language studies named important for Belarus-France dialogueDominique Depriester, deputy head of the French language mission in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took part in the seminar. The official noted that by studying French people can get familiar with the rich diversity of the French culture and are granted an opportunity to participate in many Francophone events. For instance, the International Center for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP) with assistance of the Embassy of France in Minsk arranged a one-week educational forum for a Belarusian delegation in Sevres, France in June 2016. The forum focused on discussing prospects of developing bilingual French language study groups. Representatives of the Belarusian Education Ministry, the oblast administrations, the Postgraduate Education Academy, and directors of educational institutions took part in the forum. Participants of the forum agreed that it is necessary to put together a program to develop bilingual education and it is also necessary to optimize the operation of bilingual French language study groups.

The Belarusian-French seminar for directors of secondary schools with bilingual French language study groups and their coordinators took place in the Postgraduate Education Academy on 16 November. Representatives of the Belarusian Education Ministry also attended the seminar. Participants of the seminar discussed ways of improving the operation of the bilingual French language study groups and the overall development of bilingual education.

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