Myths and Reality in Foreign Language Planning in Trinidad and Tobago

Authors

  • Beverly-Ann Carter The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Keywords:

Foreign Languages, Language Policy, Language Education, Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract

This paper examines the gap between myth and reality in foreign language planning in the state of Trinidad and Tobago. It argues that in the absence of a coherent, well-articulated foreign language planning policy, the popular misconception that language learning is a marginal activity continues to hold sway. In support of this contention, it draws on a recent study conducted among first-year language undergraduates (Carter, 1998), where only 8.57 percent of the population surveyed expressed agreement with the statement that people in their country place a lot of importance on learning foreign languages. This paper suggests that the role of the Caribbean linguist and foreign language educator must be to separate myth from reality, and raise public awareness about the critical need for foreign language competence in the Caribbean citizen of the 21st century.

Author Biography

Beverly-Ann Carter, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Department of Liberal Arts, Lecturer in French Language

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