London, Jan 31 (ANI): President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a bill that would force the youth of the country to learn the English language from the early age of three.
Sarkozy, 56, who recently come under fire for his own grasp of the French language, has said that he wants France's youngsters to learn "the language of Shakespeare".
But his suggestion has left critics fearing it will weaken the cherished French language and stop it from spreading.
It has sparked an intense debate in France, with staunch right-wing traditionalist intellectual Eric Zemmour praising his country's resistance to learn English.
"It is a sort of unconscious linguistic resistance to the colonisation of minds," the Daily Mail quoted him as telling the Sunday Times.
He added that the desire to study English is just a "fad", akin to "learning German during the occupation".
However, Sarkozy's Education Minister, Luc Chatel said that not being able to master English in France is a handicap these days.
"Three years old seems much too young for me," teacher and linguist Claude Hagege stated, arguing that at that age a child will not have even mastered their mother tongue by then. (ANI)