Salomone Quoted in University World News

Professor Rosemary Salomone was extensively quoted in an article that appeared in the September 5th issue of University World News.


Rosemary Salomone

The article, “Language in Universities – No One-Size-Fits-All Solution,” makes note of a recent policy adopted in Algeria ordering universities to teach in English rather than in French, which an overwhelming majority of Algerians supported in a national poll. It more extensively discusses a recent law adopted in Morocco setting aside teaching through Arabic in favor of foreign languages, and particularly French, in science, mathematics, and technical subjects in secondary schools. The idea is to put public schools on an equal academic footing with the country’s elite French private schools, and to prepare students for university programs that are primarily offered in French. Critics argue that the law violates the Moroccan constitution, which states that Arabic and Amazigh are the official languages of the state. Some would even prefer English to French for political and practical reasons. Professor Salomone suggests that there is no “one-size-fits-all” or “all-or-nothing” resolution to any language policy and that changes demand time and thoughtful planning, as Rwanda learned when it moved from French to English. She maintains that the question needs to be considered in light of the history, politics, and legal status of the official language or languages in each country, how the people define themselves as a nation, their feelings toward France as the “colonizer,” what problems they are trying to remedy, and what benefits they foresee. In view of those factors, she agrees that the changes in Algeria and Morocco are both reasonable.

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