Concessions ensuring the use of English or other foreign languages only accounts for part of the course were still “unacceptable”, critics said.
"It is the cultural heritage which is at stake," said Claudine Kahane, a senior official of Snesup-FSU, one of the main unions in the education sector.
Journalist Bernard Pivot, a leading figure in French cultural circles who long fronted a national dictation contest, said it could kill off "the language of Moliere."
"If we allow English to be introduced into our universities and for teaching science and the modern world, French will be vandalised and become poorer," he said.
"It will turn into a commonplace language, or worse, a dead language."Only if it doesn't meet people's needs, will it. (One might suggest that the positive network effects of learning French won't repay costs of joining.) We suggest the French intellectuals and unionists take a long le week-end off, and think again.