French is a wonderful language to acquire because knowing French, however minimal your knowledge could be, would boost dramatically your academic English vocabulary. French weighs heavily on Shakespearian English, English that makes you sound intelligible when you can articulate it, whether verbally or in writing. They are more than 20,000 words in English that are either French or French-based. I have found out that many Haitian parents tend to shun French because they are not comfortable speaking it, and to camouflage their uneasiness or even their hatred for French, they use derogative statements in Creole against anyone expressing himself in French.
I believe it’s wrong. You should encourage your child to learn French because of what it entails with regards to academic English. If you can speak Creole, French can be learned painlessly. Most Haitian Children in America are either well-versed in Creole or at the very least can survive in Creole. In a French class, they will surely have an advantage because everything strategic in Creole is also in French, like manger (eat), parler (speak/talk), danser (dance), courir (run), partir (leave) etc… Although in many instances, the writing is different, for Creole has now its own grammar rules, the linguistic sound of the two languages are almost identical.
Other reasons to learn French
In many European countries, a second language is introduced in elementary school and a third language in middle school. Job applicants who are proficient in at least two languages will be at a distinct advantage in the global marketplace. When you know French, you can communicate in transactions occurring daily in French on every continent.
In many scientific fields, most American institutions at the graduate level require a reading knowledge of French or German in order for scholars to be able to conduct research. France continues to be a leader and innovator in science and technology. Civil engineering (the “Chunnel” between England and France, the TGV—the world’s fastest train, the Viaduct of Millau—the world’s highest bridge), aeronautics (the Airbus 350 and the Ariane Rocket, a Franco-European initiative, medical technologies (the isolation of the HIV virus), and telecommunications (fiber optics, the smart card) are just a few areas in which the French are leaders. Knowing French can open the doors to graduate school and to important research.
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is Chief-Editor of CSMS Magazine. He is a novelist. His latest work of fiction, titled Midnight at Noon, is a critically acclaimed and powerful novel that describes horrific tales of raw exploitation in Haiti and what can be done to rescue Haiti from the brink. To order a copy, click here: Midnight at Noon. Dr. Isma is also a scholar who teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at UNF. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine