L’arabe pour tous / Arabic for All with Nabil Wakim

“Dad, why did you lose your tongue?” The question was asked by the five-year-old daughter of Le Monde journalist Nabil Wakim, born in Lebanon and relocated in France at around the same age. Why did Nabil Wakim lose his mother tongue? And why do many personalities in France, like Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and Myriam El Khomri, two former government ministers, or the singer Camélia Jordana, the journalist Nassira El Moaddem and many others, carry this contradiction in them? Namely: having spoken the Arabic language at a younger age before losing it. Worse, finding yourself almost unable to relearn it later. Here is the recording of an interview I recently had with author Nabil Wakim, as part of French Morning’s 2020 Bilingual Fair, and a discussion that I further develop in this blog post.

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Ribbon Cut for New French Dual Language Program in NYC

On October 2, I was thrilled to join Council Member Ben Kallos, French Consul Jérémie Robert, Community Education Council President Maud Maron, parents, teachers, and school administrators for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate two new French dual language classes that have opened at the District 2 Pre-K Center located at 355 East 76th Street in Manhattan. The joyous occasion for the families who attended the ribbon cutting and for all supporters comes after a very dedicated group of parents, including members of the Francophone community from Canada, Africa, and France, met with more than two hundred families who pledged to send their children to a French dual language program in Manhattan if one was created. I particularly congratulate the incredible efforts put forth by parents such as Stéphane Lautner, Catherine Rémy, and Nadia Levy who have kept the torch of the Bilingual Revolution burning in Manhattan even during these tough times. The French dual language classes began on September 21st with seats for 36 pre-K students. The Department of Education will operate these classes using a side-by-side instructional model where it will have one Early Childhood-certified teacher who is fluent in French and who has or will work towards a bilingual extension, alongside a second Early Childhood-certified teacher.

Here are quotes from some of the participants as well as a news report and additional photos and links.

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The Bilingual Revolution in Japanese

『バイリンガル革命:教育の未来は2カ国語で』は、NYCの公立学校でデュアルランゲージ教育プログラムを立ち上げた保護者と教育者の物語、ひらめき、実践的な助言に満ちている。バイリンガル校の力で教育に革命を起こすためのハウツー本。The Bilingual Revolution is now available in Japanese and 10 additional languages. #bilingualrevolution cover art Raymond Verdaguer

Carrying the Torch: An Interview with Blake Ramsey about Fort Greene Prep’s new French Dual Language Program.

I have known Blake Ramsey for almost 10 years when he started teaching in French bilingual programs in New York City. I have watched him grow as an educator, impressed by his consistency and professionalism, as well as his dedication to French dual-language education. He has now embarked in a new mission, carrying the torch of French dual-language education even further, and joining the team at Fort Greene Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn for what promises to be one of the best French dual-language middle school programs in an American public school. Below are his answers to my questions. Read my interview on NewYorkinFrench.

Episode 16: Mbacké Diagne

Passage par le Sénégal et l’Université Cheick Anta Diop de Dakar pour une discussion sur l’éducation plurilingue avec le professeur Mbacké Diagne, Directeur de recherche au laboratoire Linguistique et Grammaire anglaises et africaines .

La situation des langues au Sénégal est représentative du bain linguistique dans lequel les nations africaines évoluent. La place des langues nationales dans les systèmes scolaires, comme le Wolof et le Pulaar entre autres dans ce cas-ci, est encore inégale vis-à-vis de la place qu’occupent les langues internationales telle que le français, l’anglais ou l’arabe. Cette situation est au cœur des débats actuels tant elle est liée à la réussite scolaire des élèves, aux questions identitaires et au développement économique du pays.

Retrouvez les épisodes sur iTunes, Spreakers, FrenchMorning, CALEC ou sur ce site.

[Webinar Recording] Episode 2 Locating a Host School

Once you’ve gathered a group of parents who share your goal of launching a dual-language program, you must prepare your data and present it to a principal and/or a school community. Before approaching a school principal with your proposal, it is advisable to build a rationale for a local strategy as well as a persuasive argument that will help you convince the school principal as well as other appropriate administrators of the importance of your proposal. This webinar will help you develop a convincing rationale and develop a strategy to locate a school. Guest speakers will include parents who have successfully created dual-language programs as well as school principals.