Language learning is what Mauritian schools are about. The reason why we need schools is to create for children an appropriate environment in which the awesome process of learning about life and the world can take place. As far as the present system of education in Mauritius is concerned, it is to a great extent a copy of the British System. Mauritius under various dominations inherited various influences where the language issue has always been of primary concern. We have thus inherited French and English, which we have integrated in our system of education from the primary level. English is the official language, that is, the language used in parliament, the judiciary and for administration in schools. In the field of education, it is the medium of instruction of all subjects (except other languages). The way children acquire their language has for many years been a subject of great interest to both psychologists and linguists. In many parts of the world, learning a foreign language is often important to academic studies, professional success and personal development. This is particularly true of English as so much professional, technical and scientific literature is published in English today. In other terms, “English is unquestionably becoming the language of the global world” (Le Mauricien-28.09.2006) Besides, as far as the acquisition of English as a second language in the Mauritian context is concerned, this will be referred to as ‘learning” since English being a second language is learned in an educational setting. Also, in Mauritius, the social use of English is limited due to the fact that there have been statements like “Nous sommes plus habitués au français” (Le Défi Plus-23-29 septembre 2006). A look at the census of 2000 (see table 1 below) shows that 70.1% of Mauritians admitted that Creole was the language they usually spoke, whereas 0.3% spoke English and 3.4% spoke French. If we compare the... [continues]
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