Tripoli, 21 May:
Libyans will now have the opportunity to learn English through Learn English Radio (LER).
On 17 May an agreement between . . .[restrict]the British Council and Libyan National Radio was signed for LER to be broadcast throughout the whole country.
The broadcasting of LER comes at a crucial time for Libya. The country has a generation of people who did not have a chance to learn English during their school years as, due to political reasons, it was dropped from the curricula between 1985 and 1995 as part of government policy at the time.
After 1995 English was re-introduced into schools, but not as a major subject – a situation that is only now beginning to change! At the same time, there is now massive demand for English throughout the country – particularly among increasingly wired up technology savvy students and young professionals, who see the language as essential for their future careers, travel and lifestyle.
Today the provision of English at school and university level is being reformed and private language training providers are rapidly appearing in the big cities and towns. However, there remains a void of English learning opportunities, particularly outside Tripoli.
LER will provide a way of filling this void and will be available to all Libyans, regardless of location. As Ben Gray, the ELT Manager for Libya stressed: it gives everyone the chance to learn English. Anyone can listen to the radio. You don’t have to be in Tripoli. You can listen to the radio in the desert!
Libyan National Radio will broadcast both LER1 and LER2 twice, possibly with further runs later. Programmes will be put out twice weekly, with each episode broadcast once in the morning and then repeated in the evening.
Given the general levels of English in Libya, the English-Arabic version will be used. However there are plans to broadcast the English version with one of the new English language radio stations which have appeared in Libya following the revolution.
This is the first time LER has been broadcast nationwide in Libya, although it was previously broadcast to – and well-received by – the revolutionary freedom fighters last year during last year’s revolution.