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Basotho excel in French

Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — Up to 32 candidates were awarded a diploma in DELF, a basic course in usage of the French language, by the Alliance Française Maseru at a graduation ceremony officiated
by the French Ambassador to Lesotho and South Africa Elisabeth Barbier this week.

Being one of the African languages of note, French was described by the day’s master of ceremonies, Itumeleng Makhetha, as a very important language which is worth pursuing.
The use of French is gradually spreading in many countries around the globe, with many European countries having it as an official language.

Makhetha said that it was quite disheartening to have incidents where in communication is impeded because of language barriers.

Candidates who were awarded on the day were part of the initial 36 that sat for the November examination which is one of the two written annually, the other edition is written in April. Four
candidates failed.

Alliance Française board member Ntsiuoa Sekete congratulated the graduates and urged them to encourage the learning and use of the language.

“I know the road is not easy as I was once a student here. I managed to acquire a diploma in DELF B2 and I am now a full-time employee in one French oriented company.

“I have seen many people go places through the knowledge of French and I encourage you not to stop here but continue learning the language,” Sekete said.

Speaking at the same event, Barbier said she was very pleased with the increasing number of people interested in French adding that this would open great career doors for them.

“It has been a long time since French has been spoken in some African countries.
It is so amazing to see people Basotho excel in French from different areas of Lesotho learning
and receiving accolades in DELF. This is a long and tough journey and I am proud of you because you are half way there,” Barbier said.

The course is divided into four segments, A1, A2, B1 and B2. The best performers in each categorya were awarded tokens of appreciation such as dictionaries, cook books and story books which are all written in French.

The outstanding candidates were Bale Shiela (A1), Rapitso Khahliso (A2), Nkambwa Manwana (B1), Vanlessen Ilse (B2) and Bethy Tshikele also in B2 On behalf of the language graduates,
Tshikele, said: “French is one of a few languages that are spoken in many countries.

I believe it will open many doors for me. The cook book I got today is just a cherry on top as I never expected it.”

The ceremony also served as way to introduce the attendees to the French online multimedia library which subscribers can access anywhere at anytime.

The Director of Alliance Francaise Maseru Camille OPerdereau thanked everybody who contributes towards ensuring that French speaking and writing grows in Lesotho.

“We at Alliance Francaise are very grateful for all the efforts made and the interest that has been shown by most people.

“I hope the graduates will not stop here but continue to learn the language to be international French speaking people.

“We visited different ministries today and they were very keen to learn French so we are expecting to have them in class soon.

“There are over 5 000 secondary students learning French in Lesotho and we thank the Ministry of Education for that,” she said.

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