The Folk Research Center (FRC) Kweyol Debate Concept


Jounen Kweyol, as described in the FRC Jounen Kweyol Charter and Mission Statement reminds us that “Jounen Kweyol aims to make Saint Lucian Society aware of the strength and Value of the kweyol language and to assist in the understanding and development of its rich cultural resources.

The six (6) main pillars of Jounen Kweyol seek to:

1. Help communities discover collectively and share in their rich cultural heritage.

2. Bring communities together irrespective of colour, creed or partisan affiliation to address issues of culture and community development.

3. Mobilize to collectively utilize cultural resources for economic development in an environment free from selfishness and greed.

4. Utilize both the traditional wisdom of communities and learning from formal institutions to stimulate a positive and wholesome educational experience.

5. Develop the confidence of the vast number of Saint Lucian persons whose principal means of communication and expression is the kweyol language.

6. Unite communities across partisan political lines in a peaceful celebration of their heritage, their world, their Saint “Lucian-ness”.

History and Background:

The St. Lucia National Youth Council in October of 1998 initiated its first Kweyol Debate as part of its contribution to the cultural heritage of St. Lucia. This debate took place in Castries at the Marchand Parish Center to a full hall.

The topic for the debate centered on crime as this remains a critical issue affecting society. The topic read “Has Government done enough to combine crime”.

The fundamental concerns of a debate center on the issue of an argument. However, it must be noted there are significance differences between the colloquial meaning of argument as a quarrel and its definition as a process of reasoning proof.
Therefore the kweyol debate is based on argumentation as the art which seeks to influence others, through the medium of reasoned discourse, to believe or act as we wish them to believe or act.

In the main the debate focuses on matters of public controversy and national issues. As the word public suggests these maters concern us as members of a community. “They are”, according to one rhetorician, “the problems of war and peace, race and creed, poverty, wealth and population, of democracy and communism”. It is understandable that specific issues will arise on which we must take decisions from time to time.

The FRC has realized that in an effort to promote the Creole language and to facilitate discussion on a burning issue it has to utilize all forms of communication. Hence the reason for this years debate in Creole.

The debate will take place between two sides a proposition and an opposition, of which each team shall comprise two or three members. In the case of three members, a team shall have a leader, a seconder and a rebuttal speaker. For the purpose of this event a team shall have two speakers (a leader and a seconder), one of whom shall undertake the rebuttal.

The debate shall be managed by the Master/mistress of ceremony who shall introduce the topic, the debaters, and the judges and shall monitor the conduct of the debate.

The rules of the debate will be provided from the NYC debate format.


For the 2012 Kweyol Debate, the topic is as follows.
In this age of globalization the Kwéyòl Language is essential to the sustainable development of St. Lucia?
“An tan-an nou ka viv la, Pou Sent Lisi dévélopé vwéman I nésésè pou plasé Lanng Kwéyòl-la an tout zafè péyi-a”.
Team 1: Rhikkie Alexander & Sharleen Felicien

Team 2: Carlton Ishmel & Marius James

The debate is scheduled to take place at the Dennery Mabouya Valley Development Centre (Old La Caye Police Station) on October 18th, 2012 at 7: 30 pm.

Other Activities:

Mr. Velenor, who is an agriculturist and Latanier wine producer, broom maker etc, will display his local wines, brooms and other herbal products and plants labeled in Kweyol.

The public is asked to come out and support this event.
Admission: FREE


One response »

  1. Bravo!!! It should be an annual event. To promote Kwéyòl literacy, what I hope to see next is a “Kwéyòl Dictation Contest.”


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