French, an asset for your career

Knowing foreign languages can turn out to be quite an added advantage for securing a job. With a projected 700 million French speakers in the world in 2050, 85% of whom will be in Africa, French seems to be a language offering a great deal of professional opportunities.

Learning French as an added value to one’s career was the core subject of debate during a recent public roundtable discussion and training of teachers of French that took place in Uganda. The events were jointly organized by the French Embassy’s department of culture and cooperation and the Alliance française Kampala, in collaboration with Makerere University.

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Today, the job market in Uganda is very competitive. With an active population that increases with the arrival of some 400 000 youth on the job market, one needs to be equipped with the necessary tools to support one’s candidature before employers.

Knowing foreign languages can turn out to be quite an added advantage for securing a job. With a projected 700 million French speakers in the world in 2050, 85% of whom will be in Africa, French seems to be a language offering a great deal of professional opportunities.

Besides, the presence of Francophone groups in the region is the more reason why we need to train multilingual youth. Accordingly, the cooperation and cultural department of the Embassy of France - for which the support to the youth is one of the priorities – decided to invite students, professors, and academicians for a debate on the theme ‘French, a vehicle of opportunities,” on Tuesday 14th June at Makerere University.

The meeting was organised in three parts:

In the first part, Professor Jean-Jacques RICHER, a French language specialist and lecturer at the Bourgogne University, was the main discussant. He presented his study on Uganda’s University French syllabi in with the view to making suggestions to render language training more professional.

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Afterwards, different presenters took to the floor to discuss the professional opportunities associated with learning French or studying in France. Concrete examples from representatives of the corporate world, including the HR Manager of Airtel Uganda and a young entrepreneur from the Everjobs recruitment company, helped sensitize he audience on the job opportunities associated with knowing French.

The second part of the routable discussion focused more on the academic opportunities available for students who speak French. Mr. Michel HARDY from Campus France highlighted the opportunities available to Uganda students to study in France while some teachers of French in Uganda vividly shared their personal experiences, some describing French as the language of “human rights and revolution […]”that has made it possible to strengthen the understanding and reasoning we have with our Congolese neighbours.”

The different presentations from the panelists generated a lively debate from the audience which did not hesitate to take up the microphone to question and share their remarks and suggestions. The teachers and students commended Jean-Jacques Richer for his findings. They sought advice from him on how to adapt their teaching to the realty of the professional world.

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The following day, a training workshop was organised for the Ugandan teachers of French teaching French at the major universities in the country. This intensive programme entitled, “French for specific purposes,” was conducted by Jean-Jacques Richer. For three days, 18 teachers from 5 different Universities benefited from his expertise on developing specialized French lessons within their department. At the end of the week, their efforts were commended by the Director of Alliance française de Kampala and the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of France who handed a certificate of attendance to each of them.

The interest expressed by the teachers of French and the many participants at the round table of 14th June was indeed a testimony to the importance of professionalizing the teaching of French in Uganda at university level.

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Dernière modification : 22/07/2016

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