The Bilingual Revolution in Washington, DC

Back from DC where I proudly supported the efforts of DC Immersion and its wonderful team in what is now referred to as the Bilingual Revolution in DC. During these three days, I took part in no less than 9 events and talked about my book, the role of parents in creating dual language programs, and how these could benefit DC public schools. I stopped by in all 8 Wards and met with community leaders, elected officials, motivated parents, and bilingual educators, while explaining how NYC parents and educators have created new dual language programs in a dozen of languages.

The conversations were always passionate and touched on subjects as varied as equity, segregation, gentrification, race, economic opportunities, workforce development, and of course, the advantages of bilingualism and dual language education. It is clear to me that, of all cities, Washington needs to invest a lot more in dual language education as the demand is clearly there and as it would significantly benefit all its citizens. Not doing so would be a mistake when considering the many States and cities across the country which are already implementing dual language programs. In my talks, I often present the cases of Utah, Delaware, and Georgia as great examples of how States can make a U-Turn and invest massively in dual language education.

The same U-Turn is desperately hoped for by many DC residents, and in particular parents, for whom a bilingual education is important not because of any connection to the past or foreign lands, but as Ofelia García said in the foreword of The Bilingual Revolution, “to recognize an American multilingual present and forge the possibilities of a more inclusive future for all American children.”

 

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