Tamazight – lessons in Berber language

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Tamazight, that’s the language of the Berbers.
For more than 90% of our pupils this is their mother tongue.
It is a spoken language, orally delivered from generation to generation – nearly nobody really writes it, and every region has its own dialect.

Most of our students grow up with this language and have no contact to Arab or French in their early childhood. Many of the parents are still illiterate, so there is no surroundings of letters, no scripture, no books at home.
When the children enter school, they should immediately follow the classes in Arabic, because this is the main language which is very soon followed by French and a curriculum full of those languages.

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And in addition to Arab and French, since a few years, in lessons of one hour per week, also the Berber language should be learned in writing and reading (called Tifinagh)…
Can you imagine the situation for a six year old?
Three foreign languages, three different scriptures and alphabets. Two totally contrary write directions, from left to right, from right to left…

At the école vivante, we follow the national learning program. But we try to build bridges and to facilitate the language learning process. We try to fill the gap between the reality of life of the child and the requirement of the curriculum  – by creating practical experiences, interconnections and projects as much as possible.
We put things in relation to each other and try to practice the different languages in every possible way, benefitting from the richness of multilingualism as much as possible.
So if you participate in a lesson at the école vivante, chance is that you experience the simultaneous use of (often more than) three languages in one session:

“Thank you, merci, shukran, tanmirt, danke, sahha!”

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