Plus de 3000 professeurs de français de plus de 120 pays exigent plus de ressources
pour promouvoir la langue française.

Réunis en congrès à Paris, plus de 3000 professeurs de français provenant de 120
pays déclarent que, selon eux, la langue française se porte bien, mais affirment qu’elle
se porterait mieux si le gouvernement français consacrait plus de ressources afin de
promouvoir la la langue et la culture françaises. Ils invitent également toutes les
cultures nationales à se protéger des effets de la globalisation des marchés et de
l’Internet, les deux principales causes du nivellement culturel et de l’anglicisation.
(Texte anglais)

Teachers tell Paris to promote le francais

Bt Marilyn August, The Associated press ( The News and Observer, North-Carolina –
Friday, July 21, 2000, p. 13A)

Paris – The language of Molière is alive and well around the world, but a little help
from the French government would go a long way toward ensuring its survival against the
onslaught of English.

That’s the message from about 3,000 teachers of French from 120 countries meeting in
Paris this week to share teaching tips, scout out the latest teaching aids and soak up
French culture.

Alain Braun, president of the International Federation of Teachers of French, blamed
economic globalization and the internet for promoting English and undermining French,
calling it "and insidious unification which threaten many cultures".

Some teachers at the conference have suggested French is too hard. But their call for
eliminating arcane spelling anf grammar rules has met with ferocious resistance from the

From Quebec to Vietnam, about 170 million people speak French worldwide. About 82
million others learn it yearly. The world’s most widely spoken language is Chinese
followed by English

Despite aggressive attemps to protect French in France – including laws banning English
from ads and regulating the number of foreign-language songs on the airwaves – many
language professionals complain the France doesn’t do enough to promote French abroad.

"Where’s the grant money for teachers to maintain and improve their language
skills and stay in touch with Frencg culture?" asked Jean-Pierre Piriou, president of
the Association of Teachers of French in the United States.

"Today, there’s increasing interest in French culture, so we continue to
progress," he said. "The trouble is that, for every quarter step we take
forward, Spanish jumps ahead four steps." Nearly 400 million people worldwide speak

Piriou urged the U.S. states bordering Mexico to follow Florida, which forbides native
Spanish speakers from taking Spanish as a foreign language in high school. "Students
almost always turn to French, and this is a great boon to us," he said.

Language professionals in France say the demand for French has never been greater.
"We offer classes in civilization, literature, gastronomy and fashion, and they’re
among the most successful, especially among Americans and Japanese," said
Marie-Christine Simon, head of the Institu Parisien Language School.

Parisian Claude Kaminsky travels extensively in Russia and China, recruiting students
for his exclusive Ecole des Roches boarding school in Normandy. "When you see the
penury of resources – out-of-date books, no audio or video equipment – you wonder how the
manage to teach French at all." he said.

Kaminsky praised the "heroic efforts" of French Embassy cultural attachés on
limited budgets, but said they didn’t go far enough. He urged France to follow Germany’s
lead:requiring French multinational companies to donate tax deductible funds to help
promote French in countries where they operate.

(Ce texte nous a été communiqué par notre correspondant Daniel Duclos)