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French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has announced plans to offer internationally recognised English language qualifications, as part of the government’s strategy to boost exports.
In a speech to management students in Lille, M. Philippe stressed that improving language skills is essential to reversing the country’s long-standing trade deficit. Acknowledging that English is the ‘first language’ of globalisation and an essential life skill, the Prime Minister announced that the French state will fund internationally recognised language qualifications ‘of the Cambridge, IELTS type’ for all students graduating high school and university.
Hervé Marc, Regional Director for Cambridge Assessment English in Europe said “France has always had an enviable education system which produces rigorous thinkers, equipped with an impressive body of knowledge. We have been less successful, though, in teaching and learning languages, and far too many students complete their education without a sufficiently robust command of a foreign language to be able to interact easily in a corporate environment. The Cambridge English qualifications are specifically designed to encourage the development of real-life communication skills.”
Cambridge Assessment English is a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge. It produces English language certification taken by more than five million people worldwide every year, including the Cambridge English Qualifications, BULATS and IELTS. The Cambridge English Certificate is already well established in the French education system, where it is taken by more than 40,000 students in ‘Seconde Section Européenne’.