Emmanuelle Blatmann, French Ambassador to Nigeria, said France has invested 600,000 Euros for the promotion of French language in Nigeria.
Ms Blatmann revealed this on the sideline of the solidarity fund for innovative projects (FSPI) launch in Abuja.
According to her, the two-year FSPI project aims to strengthen French teachers’ skills and improve students’ knowledge of French language in Nigeria.
“French language choice has proven to be very beneficial for young Nigerians, given the academic and professional opportunities offered to those who master the language and the country’s proximity to French-speaking neighbours,” she said.
She attributed the challenges faced in mastering written and spoken French amongst secondary school students to inadequate access to textbooks, limited technological equipment and inadequate time devoted to teaching French language.
According to her, research shows that some teachers attest to a limited mastery of French and most of them have not been trained in the latest pedagogical approaches of French as a foreign language.
She said this affects learners’ motivation and their knowledge of French in general.
“It is against this background that the embassy of France in Nigeria officially sets in motion a new project, entitled ‘French in Nigeria, language of communication and capacity building’.”
“The project will be financed by a special fund called “solidarity funds for innovative projects”.
“The project, with the slogan “a toi le micro, Najia”, meaning (the mic is yours, Najia) in English, aims at positioning French as a real language of communication in secondary schools and in the Nigerian public space.”
She further disclosed that secondary school teachers will be trained and a network of media platforms using the French language will be created to support it.
“The FSPI project will make it possible to deploy a programme for 50 schools in five states in which local partners have clearly expressed the desire to intensify educational cooperation actions in Enugu, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos states and the FCT.
“The selected schools will benefit directly from a pilot initiative involving teacher trainings in France and in Nigeria and the purchase of books and computer equipment.
“A link will also be created with five FM radio stations and web radio that already broadcast content in French in Nigeria and to those who will collaborate with the pilot schools,” she said.
She added that educational programmes would be created to allow adults and children to practice French language.
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