Algeria/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.5 Language issues and policies

Since independence in 1962, Algeria has witnessed a gradual, unflagging Arabization of elementary, secondary and university education, administration and the media. To this end, around 30 laws have been enacted to eradicate the French language from Algerian schooling [M. Benrabah, 1996]. However, many sources say that Algeria is the first Francophone country after France. French is taught in school as of nine years of age. The whole Arabization project is at odds with the predominant local dialect and also with the Berber language [F. Cheriguen, 1997], which was sidelined after independence but became a national language in 2002: "Tamazight is also a national language that is being promoted and developed by the state with all its varieties spoken in the country" [Constitution Amendatory Law 02-03 dated 10 April 2002].


Chapter published: 03-05-2013


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