Traditionally done one week before the February 11th, the bilingual week is an important week in the republic of Cameroon. Bilingualism is an aspect which characterizes Cameroon and no matter the generation it is always respected
Every year in Cameroon, a bilingualism week precedes the national youth day celebrated each 11th February. This week is an occasion for scholars to show the world their capacity to understand, speak and write in either English or French no matter the background.
Nowadaysduring this bilingualism week, students from secondary and higher education organize their lessons in such a way that teachers and students invert their initial language during lessons. French lessons are done in English and vice versa.
In addition, as compared to the past people organize conferences around bilingualism and ceremonies too during which each and everyone express himself in either French if they are basically English speaking or English if they are French speaking.
Indeed this bilingualism week has been instituted in order to promote, regulate and control the daily practice of bilingualism in Cameroon. This was after law number 98/004 of the 14 April 1998 and law number 005 of April 16 2001, which stated that bilingualism was consecrated to all the teaching levels as a unity and integration factor.
Indeed, the bilingualism aspect of the country Cameroon can be recalled right after the First World War (1914) when Germany surrendered making France and England the winners of the war. As such, according to the Versailles treaty signed on June 29 1919, Cameroon was partitioned between these two countries and put under their mandate.
This is the origin of the bilingual aspect in Cameroon. After the Second World War (1939-1945) the United Nations Organization (UNO) decided to partition Cameroonand place it under trusteeship of both France and the United Kingdom. That is, the francophone section of Cameroon was given to France and the anglophone section to England. French Cameroon obtained its independence in 1960 and English Cameroon obtained its independence in 1961.
On October 1st1961 Cameroon became officially a federal republic and adopted as official languages English and French.
During the bilingualism week, people are expected to express themselves in the second national language different from their main language. This was a little history of the bilingualism aspect in Cameroon.
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