BBC – City College in Birmingham recently started a Jamaican Language and Culture course and according to course facilitator Heather Reid, students are queuing up to enrol.
Ms Reid said there are two main reasons for introducing the program which targets people who are already fluent in Jamaican patois.
‘There is a large section of the Jamaican population who are taught as children that they shouldn’t speak patois, that patois is bad English, or an improper, unacceptable way of speaking,’ she said.
The course is therefore seeking to challenge that perception and to encourage people to value patois as an important part of their culture.
The other reason for introducing the course is to breakdown some of the stereotypes surrounding Jamaicans living in the UK and to ensure that they are not misunderstood because of how they speak.
Successful candidates enrolled in the course will therefore receive a nationally recognised certificate which will officially show that they are speakers of Jamaican patois.
She said this will create a pool or interpreters who can be called upon to interpret for Jamaicans whose accents are too strong or whose English is considered to be poor.
Using the courts as an example, she said these interpreters will be able to interpret what a Jamaican speaker appearing in that court is saying.