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Why is it important to teach French at schools in Provincia de Buenos Aires?


Many people believe that English is the “unique” Foreign Language that can be taught in provincia de Buenos Aires. Why? Because it is supposed to be the Lingua Franca that can help us to exchange ideas and opinions in this “global village”. However there is another foreign language that is spoken by a lot of people all over the world. The language mentioned above is French. But what are the reasons to learn the “langue d’Oc” in Provincia de Buenos Aires?

First of all we have to take into account what Roland Barthes says about plurilinguism. He considers that “ the illiterates of this new century will be all the people who only speak English as a Foreign Language”. Nowadays it is important to know that languages, like Spanish and French have increased their presence in the net. Moreover Europeans speak at least two foreign languages because it is a matter of fact that people need them to communicate in different ways with different cultures. Besides that it is a reality that “Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires” has included French and
Portuguese as alternative foreign languages to be taught at Primary and Secondary Schools.

Apart from that that we have to take into account the factor that French - like Spanish - was evolved from Latin. As French and Spanish have the same origin we can establish a relationship between these two languages. A lot of French words – like “onze”, “livre” or “professeur” can be understood by Spanish speakers because of the simplicity of their spelling and the transparency of their meaning. Besides that, words like “toilet”, “restaurant” or “mousse” are borrowed from French and are used in Spanish without translating them. Moreover French is known as a syllable stressed language, a quality that is also shared by our mother tongue.

Furthermore French culture is related to our own history because Frenchmen (from Rousseau to Sartre) have influenced on the thoughts and ideas of our society. French could be defined as a way of living in liberty, fraternity and equality, ideals which are closer to our idiosyncrasy and are the bases of our nation.

All in all we can conclude that our mother tongue has inherited plenty of cultural and idiomatic qualities from the “langue d’Oc”. Quoting Sausurre we can consider that French and Spanish can be compared with a sheet of paper: thought is the front and sound the back, one cannot cut the front without cutting the back at the same time. Due to this close relationship it would be important to include French as a Foreign Language in the curriculum of the schools belonging to Provincia de Buenos Aires. If we don’t do that, we (Bonaerenses) will be the new illiterates of the century which needs trained women and men who want to transform this big global village called World.

This is one of the works that the students have done in groups.

I used the "titles of different songs" that my students like - I translated them into English. I gave those titles to each group and they created some paragraphs using them.



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