Langues, Modernite at Mondialisation en TUnise: Les Imperatifs

Carpenter-Latiri, Dora (2004) Langues, Modernite at Mondialisation en TUnise: Les Imperatifs French Speaking and teaching in Tunisia, 107 . pp. 185-204.

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Abstract

Carpenter-Latiri’s article examined a range of key issues affecting the state of French speaking and teaching in Tunisia, and was facilitated by her unique access to the unpublished Boissinot Report addressing the position of the French language and its pedagogy there. Carpenter-Latiri’s detailed study was included in a special issue of a leading Canadian journal specializing in Francophone language policy, Revue d’aménagement linguistique. The significance of her research was underlined by its place in a special issue devoted to the state of language policy in North Africa. Whilst French language is a main concern, the article takes a broad approach to the state of languages in Tunisia, tackling the issue in the context of the country’s own diglossia (dialectal/modern Arabic) and the evolving status of English, as well as of the differing literacy rates for both men and women there and in other Arabic-speaking countries. Its scope was broadened through surveying all the languages involved in relation to gender attitudes to languages, the social context of teaching including opportunities to visit France or Britain, access to modern teaching approaches, the imperatives of globalization and modernization, language literacy in relation to computer and technological literacy, and political background in respect of state ‘arabization’ policies, democratic deficit, and the impact of French, British and American foreign policies. A complex picture emerges, with shifting roles for different languages: French still playing a key role in social promotion, functional English becoming more widespread, and a tendency for local Arabic to move closer to Standard Arabic. Finally, consideration is given to the dimension of language as one of many life skills needing to take its place alongside technology, initiative and collaborative skills. English abstract: This article addresses the importance of French language policy in North Africa in the context of a wide range of Tunisian concerns, particularly the state of French speaking and teaching in that country. It draws on unique access to the Ministry of Education’s unpublished Boissinot Report on French teaching in that country. Although the state of the French language is the principal concern, the article takes a broad approach to the state of language in Tunisia, tackling this issue in the context of the country’s own diglossia (dialectal/modern Arabic), the evolving state of English, and the differing literacy rates for both men and women, both in Tunisia and in other Arabic-speaking countries. All such languages are considered from a variety of viewpoints: gendered attitudes to language; the social context of teaching (including opportunities to visit France or Britain and access to modern approaches to the teaching of languages); the imperatives of globalization and modernization (language literacy in relation to computer and technological literacy); and political background (state arabization policies, democratic deficit, impact of the foreign policies of France, the UK and the USA). A complex picture thus ensues, with shifting roles for different languages: France still playing a key role in social promotion; functional English becoming more widespread; and a tendency for local Arabic to move closer to Standard Arabic. In conclusion, language is evaluated as one of many life skills alongside technology, initiative and collaboration.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Francaphone, Languge Policy
Subjects:Q000 Languages and Literature - Linguistics and related subjects
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
ID Code:6572
Deposited By:Faculty of Arts editor
Deposited On:26 Nov 2009
Last Modified:18 Jun 2010 12:40

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