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DG Urges Youth On Bilingualism As Emerald Schools End Week-long French Village Immersion Programme In Badagry

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As 59 students and accompanying teachers of Emerald High Schools in Ogun and Lagos States concluded their week-long customized French Language Immersion Programme for top-class secondary schools in the Nigeria French Language Village over the weekend, the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the institution, Prof. Lateef Babatunde Ayeleru, FNAL, has again admonished Nigerian youths on the importance of French language in the evolving globalization of the 21st century. 

At a send-off ceremony organized for the participants, Professor Ayeleru emphasized the need for the youth to embrace bilingualism as a sure way to excel in any field or profession they intend to venture into, adding that any Nigerian youth who has French as a second international language will do better in the tech world and online and social media based businesses such as coding, copywriting, freelancing, contents creation, and development, as well as other internet-based professions.

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He concluded that every bilingual professional in any field has the added advantage of accessing knowledge across all language divides and getting engaged in top-ranking local, regional, and international organizations and NGOs.

He thanked the teachers, parents, and the Management of Emerald Schools for consistently encouraging their students to participate in the event, adding that Emerald Group has been one of the few schools in Nigeria that takes advantage of the customized programme.

The week-long programme featured classroom and language laboratory contacts, French songs and poetry, sporting activities, film shows, and local excursions titled “Discovering the Atlantic Coastal Kingdom of Badagry” and “Fun Time at Whispering Palms”.

While having fun, the young participants have the opportunity to learn about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and physically walk the slave route, entering the Seriki Williams Abass Brazilian Barracoon Cells of 1840. They equally visited the Mobee Family Slave Relics Museum, where they saw the slave chains and other slave relics, and the Badagry Heritage Museum.  

They also learned about the early Christian missionaries, visiting the first primary school in Nigeria – St Thomas, the first storey building in Nigeria, and the site of the Agia tree where Thomas Freeman first preached Christianity on September 24, 1842.

One of the special features of the just concluded programme was the Francophony Day (Journee de la Francophonie) celebration by the university undergraduate students on their compulsory one-year Language Immersion Course in the Village. Emerald students added colour to the event by participating in the match pass, sac race, and other events.

The one to two-week customized French Language Immersion Programme for Top-class Secondary Schools is organized on demand at any time of the year. It allows participants to take out some time from their regular school environment to get immersed in the French language and culture to awaken their interest in international bilingualism. This is in addition to the highly attended and fun-filled annual summer holiday language camp which comes up every first and second week of August.

To ensure comfort and achieve optimal results, participants are exclusively lodged in a clean and highly secure facility while in Badagry. At the same time, vehicles and security personnel are provided to convey them to and from the facility. Local and cross-border excursions are also organized to places of interest in Badagry, Porto-Novo, and Cotonou. Interested schools have the option of doing the whole programme in Badagry and undertaking a day return excursion to Cotonou or spending a weekend in Cotonou and Porto-Novo.

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