Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Education in the Charente - Monty Python style
Earlier this year our President, Nicolas Sarkozy, declared that he wanted French children to learn "the language of Shakespeare" from the age of three. Since coming to power he's been encouraging schools and colleges to embrace English and most of my French friends with children think this is a jolly good thing.
So, a couple of weeks ago my eldest (age 11) was very excited to learn that she was going on a class trip to the cinema to see an English film with French sub titles - she had been told that it was a classic comedy.
When she got back I asked her what she thought:
"Well, it was a bit gory and all the French kids kept laughing in the wrong places because the sub titles didn't follow the plot at all - but at least all the boys now know a new selection of English swear words and are having great fun in the playground"
Turns out they'd been taken to see Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Certificate 15 and pretty difficult for an 11 year old English girl to understand the 35 year old, offbeat, sense of humour let alone a class full of French kids who have only just got to grips with the correct spelling of "Tuesday" or "February".
Having God represented by an animated version of WG Grace for example is unlikely to strike too much of a chord in a country where cricket ranks below conkers as a national sport.
Hmmm - 10/10 for the idea sir but 2/10 for the execution.....