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The CAPES de Créole: strategies and challenges

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French

<10670/1.vipt67>

Abstract

`titrebStrategies and Questions at Slake for the Creation of a CAPES of Creole`/titrebThe Creole language, in all its different dialectal forms, is spoken by about ten million people in the Americas and the Indian Ocean. Two million of them belong to the French Overseas Departments (DOM) including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion. F or three centuries, Creole, the only language of the black slaves, lived mainly in an oral form, from which grew an outstanding oral literature (tales, riddles, proverbs, songs...), and this, in spite of the fact that Creole was only written, sporadically, from the middle of the 18th century. This situation, described as « diglossia » in 1959 by Charles Ferguson, similar in many ways to that of Catalonia or Occitania (Provencal), wasn’t without repercussions both in schooling and on an identity level. Indeed, the ousting of Creole from the educational sphere caused a massive failure of pupils from the working class. Gradually, it forced the institution to think about new approaches with regard to teaching French, approaches quite similar to those implemented in Black Africa, such as « French as a second language » or « French as a foreign language ». At the same time, diverse cultural and political trends, of nationalistic allegiance, took the question of restoring the full value of the vernacular language, very seriously, giving it all the necessary linguistic equipment (spelling, grammar, dictionaries, pedagogical guides...). These efforts led to the creation of a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Creole at the University of the French West Indies and French Guiana at the beginning of the nineties and by a decree dated 9 February 2001, the creation by the French National Ministry of Education, a CAPES in Creole (the CAPES is the French national secondary school teaching certification exam).

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