June 17, 2024

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The introduction of mainstream English renews linguistic strife in Algeria

The introduction of mainstream English renews linguistic strife in Algeria

It’s a new twist in the “language war” rocking Algerian news. English learning, which was taught till now from middle school, was introduced from the third year of the primary cycle [CE2].

The presidential decree was implemented within three months, prompting the recruitment of teachers and the hasty design of textbooks. But if this decision does not provoke a real debate in society, it is not known how to silence the affective dimension in the relationship between the Algerian language and the language.

“Other Language” and “Other Language”

In a recent video posted on social networks, highlighting English-speaking children, one of them says: “I speak English because I don’t like French”. (“I speak English because I don’t like French.”)

This is because English enjoys the image of a neutral language that lacks dominance and dominance due to its lack of proximity to English-speaking countries. she “another language” Instead of being “other language”.

Against the backdrop of clashes between Arabic-speaking and French-speaking elites and the rivalry between the French and American embassies, the French-versus-English rivalry in our territory has been in the background for decades. [la possession] Linguistic monopoly in our country – hence political influence.

The language crisis dates back to the country’s independence—even to the Berber crisis of 1949, some sociologists would say. [crise provoquée au sein du mouvement nationaliste algérien autour de la définition d’une Algérie arabe et musulmane au détriment de la dimension berbère du pays]. The question arose as to what to do with it “The Language of the Colonists”, Vector according to area of ​​elites “French Language Influence”.

It would experience its culmination during the reform of primary education carried out in 1976 by presidential decree, which contributed to the generalization of Arabic in primary education and the relegation of French as a second language. [ou] Foreign.

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It was faster in secondary education as well. French language teaching is introduced in the fourth year [équivalent du CM1] That is English in ninth grade [équivalent de la troisième]. This was supported by the promulgation of the Law Generalizing the Use of the Arabic Language on January 16, 1991, and its Article 4 provides: “Public administrations, institutions, companies and associations, whatever their nature, must use only the Arabic language in all activities such as communication.