Fri | Nov 15, 2019

The importance of early education in languages

Published:Saturday | November 2, 2019 | 12:16 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The Alliance Française in France chose to eliminate Jamaica from Radio France International (RFI) radio broadcasts this year, a grave error on their part. These broadcasts are sorely missed, in part because RFI had African news not available anywhere else in Jamaica. Nonetheless, I would like to commend the Alliance Française de la Jamaique for having found a much better location at 12 Merrick Avenue, Kingston 10, near the new R Hotel, for those wishing to learn or maintain their French language skills.

The Gleaner published a photograph of the opening ceremony, but readers should know that not only was the French Ambassador Denys Wibaux a delightful speaker, but Ms Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, spoke in impeccable French, while Mr Alando Terrelonge, minister of State in the Ministry of Education, was positively marvellous as he demonstrated his fluency in French, recounting his days as a student debater in the language.

In addition, he brought his young son, who will become a student at the Alliance, to demonstrate the importance of early education in languages.

Pierre Lemaire, once again the president of the Alliance Française de la Jamaique, has a very ambitious programme – including students creating videos in the language.

With the departure of Marie-Noelle Brunot, a new director will be arriving, but to see such wonderful private and public sector support of the Alliance was truly a heartening experience.

DR LAURA TANNA