Promoting the use of English in Madagascar

With two English clubs associated to FOKO, BUEC (Barikadimy's United English Club from Tamatave) and ICE (I'm crazy about English in Tananarive) more posts are now published in English (exactly 176 today). Malagasy along with French were the two official languages in Madagascar before the addition recently of English. It is not always an easy task promoting its use with French having been imposed during last century colonial era and Malagasy, particularly Merina dialect, being common in writing and speaking in every the regions. In fact a large proportion of Malagasy bloggers are only publishing in their mother thongue to keep the culture alive on internet and to improve the vocabulary with the addition of new terms related to technology. But how are things doing back in Madagascar? What are the challenges? Let's read from ICE and BUEC :

The Challenge of Spelling in English from ICE Club website

November 21st, 2008, there was an interesting Friday Talk session at American Cultural Center ( ACC) from 12:30 to 2 p.m. During that day ;the topic was ” The Challenge of Spelling in English”; presented by the Regional English language Officer Eran Williams.
How well can we master the english language. Is it enough just knowing how to speak; read ;and write. Sometimes even when we write we get stuck in writing some words. The problem is that we don't know how to spell it correctly. So we end up ; misspelling it. (…)

(…)Why can't we have our own Spelling Bee competition here in english or Malagasy or french. It won't be a bad idea. 

in the comments section Andry adds :

I sincerely believe that we, as “English lovers”, should get back to reading books, writting letters with a paper and a pen, listening to radio plays, and discussing topics which really matter. I think that if we take the challenge, we will all benefit from that.

In the Eastern coast, their friends at BUEC are discussing the same echues :

WHY ENGLISH? The creators remarc that there are a lot of students after they got their BACC degree and they have to go at University, there they had no opportinuty to encrease their knowledge in term of English. And as e know that there is no way to follow English subject here in Tamatave because it’s doesn’t exist yet. At the same time we know the importance of English nowaday so we decided to create one club, is the place where the students can increase their knowledge on English.

he (Mr White, the newly elected BUEC president) really want all of the member can express English correctly, but that needs a lot of effort from eah students but that not enough if there is no teacher or some tape or CD video, to teach us what exactly the student must do, also very diffiocult to attend the aims.


BUEC Tamatave par foko_madagascar

Meeting time at BUEC

Moonlight shares about the different social activities at English Clubs : 

 their club MLEC ( Municipal Library English Club is divided into comities: Tourism comity; Youth Social Comity; Fundraising Comity. So if you want to join their club, you have to choose a comity. Like all other clubs , they have other activities like camping; picnics,…… 


BUEC Tamatave par foko_madagascar

BUEC members

And finally let's show our support to the pioneers by posting hundred of comments on their blogs especially with the come back of Tamatave's bloggers : ,,

photo-bleudscn1242BUEC Tamatave par foko_madagascar

9 thoughts on “Promoting the use of English in Madagascar

  1. Yep, writing in English is not obvious for Malagasy people (me included) but we make efforts because we like it and it helps you guys out there to know more about us without the help of google (translation) 😀
    It’s also good to know that you are not alone that somewhere there are Malagasy people who think the same way as you do and share the love of this language. So I’d like to thank all English Clubs in Mada 🙂

  2. Hey sixthman,

    I also noticed that there was a debate on wether digital content should be used when learning English, don’t you think blogging is a sweet way between practicing and learning? of course as BUEC mentioned, there are still a lot of problems in particularly financing the workshops and getting equipments but we’re going to work together as UECM United English Clubs of Madagascar! (you guyz should definetly create this one)

  3. Who am I?

    English is like,
    moonlight at night,
    Am I right?
    I think so, it’s so bright

    I’m always dreaming,
    To let down English,
    ‘coz also Italian, Spanish,
    They can give me the same feeling.

    Now, I’m standing, waiting,
    For something to happen,
    But always, nothing, nothing,
    Is going to change.

    That is mean,
    Sun is above,
    I love English,
    I couldn’t move
    Without English.
    I’m BUEC


  4. Misaotra for the English content. Makes people like me who don’t know much French and even less Malagasy to be able to read your works.

  5. Hi . I will bein Tamatave on the 15th of december havealook of my blog, wouldloveto meet you there.

  6. Greetings. My name is Chris McCann, and I am a representative of Family Radio. Family Radio ( is an international, non-commercial, non-profit Christian broadcasting ministry which is based in Oakland, California, USA. I am helping to locate translators and voice workers in the Malagasy language. We are looking to have Bible studies, our ‘Open Forum’ program, and/or other programs translated from English into Malagasy and recorded in Malagasy.

    These services are needed on an on-going basis, with as much or as little time that you would be willing to offer. As Family Radio requires that translations strictly adhere to the English text, an identification with or a background in Christianity is not required.

    If this may be of interest to you and you would like to get further information, please contact me via Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to the possibility of hearing from you.

    Chris McCann

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