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Jacaranda Cultural Centre re-opens for studies

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Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) and Maison de la France situated at Mandala in Blantyre opens its doors for French studies on March 15 2021 following its closure due to Covid.

The re-opening of the centre for French studies comes in handy as the world will be commemorating International Francophonie or French Day, which falls on March 20 annually.

Director of French Studies Poya Chapweteka said Wednesday that this session will run for 10 weeks.

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He said knowledge of French had helped some Malawians land international jobs.

“For instance, we have Malawians who are called in as international interpreters during international conferences held within Malawi and abroad. International organisations and multinational companies are also looking for the services of people who can speak other international languages such as French,” Chapweteka said.

He said language is part of culture and that French was important.

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“The knowledge of foreign languages is always helpful to Malawians who have travelled to French speaking countries either for pleasure, studies or for business,” Chapweteka said.

He also said soldiers going on a mission to French-speaking countries and football teams having engagements with teams from French-speaking countries have to master the speaking of French.

“The knowledge of other languages is always good for the expansion of culture. French has allowed many to experience other cultures through reading books, listening to the radio, television and other print and electronic media,” Chapweteka said.

He also touched on music, saying people listen to music from French-speaking countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa.

According to Chapweteka, French is a major language of international communication and that it is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

“French is also the second most widely taught language after English, and is taught on every continent. Malawians can learn French at any age and the opportunities are just so many,” he said.

He said, previously, the teaching of French was associated with secondary schools, Chancellor College and French Cultural Centre.

“French Cultural Centre might have closed in 2011 but that has not derailed the teaching of French. The government has maintained the teaching of French through training of French teachers, recruiting them to teach French and providing French books to schools,” he said.

JCC and Maison de la France opened its doors in 2016 but its director, Luc Deschamps, started to contribute to the teaching of the language way back in 2011 when he re-opened the examination centre for Delf and Dalf examinations.

Apart from teaching French, the centre also promotes arts and culture through hosting performances and workshops.

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