Hundreds of native English speakers joined the first day of school last week as teaching assistants under an ambitious program to have every child aged five to 16 speak English.

English is now compulsory, and Russian optional. The aim, notes Reuters, appears pragmatic in a globalized world where English dominates and Georgia’s investment-driven economy is seeking partners in Turkey and the European Union.

“We once had a staff of 50, and now there are five, because there aren’t many students. Russian language is fading out, with me!”
Natela Chokhonelidze, Georgia State University

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