St. John’s University Talk: On The Experience of Bilingual Education

St. John’s University hosted my talk on the Bilingual Revolution and the future of education and I enjoyed every minute of it! I was asked to present in French so that everyone in the audience, which included students and faculty from all over the world, could put themselves through an immersive experience in a language that was not theirs. Professor Puig was there to provide some translation when I felt the students needed some help. This bilingual talk idea worked out well. The students seemed to play along and accepted the challenge. They experienced bilingual education firsthand. The next day, I heard from one student from Colombia who said she was able to understand everything. This is what she writes: “I took two courses [of French] in college but until last night I had not been able to prove to myself whether or not I could actually understand the language in a real life setting – and I could….” Kudos to Dean Katia Passerini and Basilio G. Monteiro for coming up with this idea and for inviting me. You might have started a new kind of experience!

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Bilingual Revolution in Manhattan

Parents in Manhattan won an important victory and were able to convince schools authorities about creating a French dual-language program in a public school in the Upper East Side. Their journey, which started two years ago, has culminated in a series of recent meetings with elected officials, school leaders, and community leaders. Hailing from a number of countries, some parents want access to English or French and the equal opportunity they provide. Others want to sustain their heritage, and utilize bilingual education as a tool to do so. Others are interested in the benefits of bilingualism for cognitive development. Others are interested in the acquisition of a second, third, or fourth language because of the professional opportunities and advantages it will yield. Ultimately, these perspectives share the same goal: to create a multilingual society with greater access to languages and cultures.

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French-speaking population according to the US Census Bureau

The latest U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey reports that 1,203,941 people in the U.S. speak French at home.This includes speakers of French Patois and Cajun.  These individuals are over 5 years old (count another 4.6% if you want to include children under 5, or 55,380 children). Despite a drop since my last count, French is still the fifth most common non-English language spoken in U.S. households, after Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

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Révolution bilingue à Manhattan

Full house in support of more French dual-language programs in New York organized by Stephane Lautner, a French-American parent who has worked tirelessly to create a new program in Manhattan. Salle pleine pour les programmes bilingues de New York avec une réunion organisée par Stéphane Lautner, un parent franco-américain qui travaille sans relâche pour créer un programme à Manhattan.

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[FR] Épisode 5 : Joseph Dunn, porte-drapeau du français en Louisiane

Dans l’épisode 5 du podcast “Révolution Bilingue”, je m’intéresse à la langue française en Louisiane.

Si le français revit ces dernières années en Louisiane, on le doit notamment à Joseph Dunn, qui se bat depuis des années, avec d’autres, pour le bilinguisme et la défense du français. Lorsque la Louisiane est entrée dans l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie l’an dernier, “mon rêve est devenu réalité” dit-il.

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Inauguration of New Mural by French Artist Hervé Tullet at P.S 84

French artist Hervé Tullet has done it again! This time he has touched two school communities in Manhattan: P.S. 84 The Lillian Weber School of the Arts and Lafayette Academy (M.S. 256). Both schools boast a French dual-language program and now a beautiful collection of artworks painted by the entire community. Even an entire wall was unveiled, showing the impact of art in getting a community closer together.

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