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University of Balamand > News > Archive > Discussing the Frankensteinian Educational System

Discussing the Frankensteinian Educational System

“After 70 years of independence, the existing language-in-education policy in Lebanon needs to be revisited.” This is one of the many interesting issues to be addressed in the lecture series organized by the Department of English Language and Literature.

To be held in Fares 119, from November 26 till January 21, the lecture series will be led by faculty members who will share their research activities and interests.

“The idea behind this lecture series is to promote this culture of research in our department and to share our research findings with the larger community,” said Dr. Samer Annous, the chairman of the English Language and Literature Department.

The Balamand assistant professor said that the English department is a key player at the University, and it is known as a service provider with more than one thousand students per semester taking English courses.

Dr. Annous pointed out that while the department is mostly known as a service provider, its real richness lies in terms of the engagement of its faculty members in research and other scholarly activities.

Among the topics that will be discussed in the lecture series is one dedicated to “Linguistic Discrimination, the Language-in- Education Policy in Lebanon”, presented by Dr. Annous. In it, he will argue that “the way the language policy is implemented leads to discrimination and exclusion.” He noted that those who are not privileged to go to private institutions end up going to public schools where they fail because of their deficiency in foreign languages. He also points out “that although we pretend that we are promoting bilingualism, students end up being semi-lingual”.

One suggestion he offers is to reinforce the Arab identity in education by creating a system that responds to the rights of the majority of Lebanese to learn in their mother tongue, to what he terms “linguistic rights.”

In his presentation, Dr. Annous will be grappling with the question of identity. According to him, there is a close link between language and national identity, because “you are what you speak.” However, he noted that we are a hybrid nation that has no clear identity in what he describes as “a nation in the making, with an identity in the making, with an educational policy in the making”.

Dr. Annous is calling on the Lebanese to decide what kind of Lebanese educational system they need to create.

“After 70 years of independence, I am trying to show where we failed in the educational system. We’ve had a chance to promote a bilingual system that ​would distinguish our Lebanese curricula, but we ended up in having a Frankensteinian invention, a monster that is out of control.

The full lecture series program:
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