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Growing Number of Schools Teaching in Creole Instead of French in Haiti



An elementary school in Haiti and a growing network of Creole advocates are working to break down learning barriers, that according to them, exist because instruction in Haitian schools is in French while most kids speak Creole at home.

An article in the Global Press Journal looked at the case of the school Liv Ouvè. It is a rare school, in a country of overwhelmingly Creole speakers, that teaches in Creole. Sonia Secours jean, a first and second grade teacher now approaching her first year there, believes this is an improvement.

She said, “Learning in French can make [the students] feel lost.” In her past teaching roles, she says students “had a penchant for crying instead of explaining it to the teacher, because there was a barrier between them and the French language imposed on schools.”

At Liv Ouvè, Secours Jean teaches in Haitian Creole and introduces French language basics slowly and in the context of Haitian Creole concepts.

“Since I joined Liv Ouvè, children keep their attention focused, and there’s no barrier between them and the teacher. And when they feel there’s something wrong, they explain it to me instead of crying. It seems that children have freed themselves from any worries, and are free to learn,” Secours Jean says.

Growing Number of Schools Teaching in Creole Instead of French in Haiti