Jan 3, 2013 – We Are Nigerians, We speak French Language Also!
Over 60,000 Nigerians have acquired communication skills in French at the Nigerian French Language Village in Badagry, Prof. Samuel Ajei, the Director General of the school said today.
“So far, the institution has trained over 60, 000 Nigerians in acquiring communication skills in French language since its inception,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Ajei said that the 21-year-old institution had contributed to the cultural and educational development of the country and called for increased sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to acquire knowledge in French language for personal and national socio-economic and political development. According to the professor of French and Applied Linguistics, acquisition of additional foreign language is an advantage.
“Ability to communicate in more than one foreign language will expose people to a lot of opportunities internationally,’’ Ajei added. He urged the government at all levels to intensify efforts in encouraging the teaching of French in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
“Our students and other citizens should equip themselves with speaking and writing skills in French Language. “There is need for us to train Nigerians toward attaining proficiency level in speaking and writing in French in a manner that will not seem difficult … that is what we do here.
“We train Nigerians irrespective of their areas of specialisation, who in return, will build that into their profession as a way of capacity building which will help them to attain the peak of their careers.’’
Ajei said that it was imperative for Nigerians to learn French since the country was surrounded by French-speaking countries, saying it would promote regional cooperation, understanding and seamless trading.
“It is important for Nigeria to understand the language to do what they do, understand how they feel and get to understand them better.
“Economically, it will boost trade relations because the more you speak someone else’s language, the more receptive they tend to be toward you and the more confident they are in dealing with you.’’
The don said that the acquisition of an international language such as French would create access to job opportunities in regional and international organisations such as African Union and the UN. NAN reports that the centre was established in 1991 as a service institution for Nigerians and students from colleges of education and universities.
The center has the mandate of providing language immersion programmes and also awards certificates, diplomas and post-graduate diplomas.