A new strategy is aiming to increase the number of Jèrriais speakers on the island and guarantee that Jersey French develops as a “living language”.
Unveiled at the Jersey Museum this week, the Jèrriais Language Strategy 2022-2025 outlines the vision for the future of Jersey’s native language.
The strategy aims to increase the visibility of Jèrriais and improve its use in social and professional situations.
Ben Spink, Head of the Jèrriais Teaching Service, said: “Lé Jèrriais est dans l’DNA d’Jèrri – Jèrriais is in the DNA of Jersey.”
Pictured: Nursey children at St John’s school, pictured with Jèrriais teacher Merry Bond.
“It is one of things that makes our island a unique and special place to live," he said.
“As such, we will continue to work tirelessly to safeguard our precious language for future generations and this strategy sets out the path we will take in so doing.”
The strategy has been written by the team at L’Office du Jèrriais, which is comprised of the Jèrriais Teaching Service, based at the department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills, and the Jèrriais Promotion Officer, based at Jersey Heritage.
The Strategy is centred around five themes:
Within each theme is contained a series of "ambitious yet achievable" aims that outline what the future could look like for Jèrriais.
Assistant Minister with responsibility for Culture, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said: “Jèrriais is a vital part of our culture and will have an increasingly important role to play as a key component of our Island identity."
Pictured: Children from Plat Douet Primary School, who took part in the first online Jèrriais Eisteddfod this year.
“This significant strategy demonstrates that the Government of Jersey is committed to supporting the revitalisation of Jèrriais in the long term.
“For the first time in my lifetime, it feels as though we’re making real progress in the development of Jèrriais and whilst there is still a very long road to travel before we can say that the language’s future is secure, there are exciting signs that the goal is actually achievable.”
The 2022–25 strategy builds on the world of the 2017–19 Jèrriais Plan, which led to significant growth in the number of learners of all ages.
“We can expect to see a range of initiatives in the coming years that will help deliver on its five themes and will ensure that Jèrriais remains a living language that is relevant to islanders in the 21st century,” Deputy Morel said.
Across those initiatives are an early-years programme, a cross-curricular Jèrriais programme in schools and online lessons for adults and younger students.
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