Lebanon: More English Teaching, Less French

Lebanon's Daiy Star reports about the decline of French teaching and the rise of English in the Lebanese education system.

Under the French Mandate the school system was restructured again, with a French-language requirement.

While French is still the most important second language being taught at Lebanese schools today, it has been losing ground to English, which has become more important as a "language of status" and business.

According to statistics from the Education Ministry, 62.5 percent of all Lebanese schools offered French as a second language in the school year 1999-2000. This number decreased to 55.8 percent in 2005-2006. During the same period, schools offering English increased from 19.7 percent to 21.6 percent.

The number of schools offering both English and French has also increased. In 1999-2000 17.8 percent of the schools offered both languages; by 2005-2006 that figure had grown to 22.6 percent.

With the increased importance of English, the number of children who attend tri- and multilingual schools as well as preschools has also increased, speech therapist Wissam Chidiak tells The Daily Star.

Dima Sinno, who founded lou&lo preschool with her mother, noticed the same trend.

"Parents realize that English is getting more and more important in a globalized world (...)"

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