I was interviewed earlier this Month by Elizabeth Rose Daly for her blog, Liz daly’s Culture Digest. I spoke about my new book The Bilingual Revolution, the development of dual-language programs in New York City public schools, and the various models applied by the different linguistic communities I worked with (Polish, German, Japanese, etc.).
[…] In his book, Fabrice recounts how parents, school administrators and others came together to create these programs. He also discusses programs that did not succeed, and in conclusion, offers a step-by-step roadmap that parents can follow to create dual-language programs in their schools. Having spent my career in international business, I’ve long admired Fabrice’s enthusiasm and dedication, and am thrilled that he published this book.
[…] LD: Are you seeing any change in the attitudes of school administrators and teachers towards bilingualism? Are they more aware of how it can benefit the kids?
FJ: In the younger principals, yes. Unless you have those rare monolingual school leaders who really understand bilingual education or those who come from that bilingual background – they know, they went through the whole thing. This is changing across the US: states like Utah, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia are investing massively in bilingual education. They see the benefits not just for the community, but for the economy. They want their state to be economically viable 20 years from now and their workforce to be competitive.
In New York City the DOE has this mandate that forces the City to serve English language learners, and that’s where the Federal money comes in. In fact we have other families: we have English language learners, we have heritage language families like my kids, where families want to sustain the home language and they need the schools to do that, and the third group is the English-speaking families who want to acquire a second language or a third one. These are the three groups that I usually meet, who start to form the coalition.
Read the full interview on Liz Daly’s Culture Digest.