Thursday, June 7, 2012

The histroy of English in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has never been colonized, but from the beginning English was a common foreign language as well as Italian and French. Then came the Ethiopia-Italian war which devastated the school system here. The British helped push out the Italians, and then helped rebuild the education system in the British image with English as an important corner stone. This was about the time PC first came into the country.

And then the Derg came into power (the previous ruling party) and there was a movement by the government to push Amharic and English was no longer in schools (this was also when PC pulled out).

That...didn't really work out, and the new party (which has been in power since '91) turned English into a focus. It's used quite a bit here, on business forms, ads, working with foreign organizations, banks, insurance, travel agencies, public signposts, and news. Thus, knowing English is a must have skill to get out of the rural villages.

So at least the kids I'll be teaching know English is important.


C.M.Brown said...

My very best wishes to you as you undergo your very incredible adventure! I hope all goes well.

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