As a former school director and education researcher I often think about what we need to teach our children. To me, the 4 C’s that are Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity are essential skills to equip our children with for today’s and even tomorrow’s world too. But we need to go even further than that by teaching our children a fifth C: Compassion.
This point culminated during my recent visit to China to an art education project in a school for migrant workers’ children in one of Beijing’s outer rings, Beijing Shijingshan Cement Factory Elementary School, through a program called “Enlightenment of Love.” The project received support from Sun Future Art Education Foundation which bases itself on the belief that “Art Education Makes Good People,” and aims to help children grow both heart and mind. I was impressed by the teachers’ focus on exploration and innovation through aesthetics and photography, particularly as a way to build identity and encourage love and compassion among their students who predominantly came from disadvantaged families.
I was delighted to take part in a school tour of PS1 in Chinatown with NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza who announced the opening of 48 new bilingual programs in Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, Urdu, Bengali, Polish, Arabic, Korean and, for the first time, Albanian. Also a great program in German at PS18, and a new initiative with Greek. Thank you, NYC.
I was thrilled to take part in the Third International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages in Los Angeles (February 16–17, 2018). The conference was organized by National Heritage Language Resource and focused on heritage and community language studies as a multi-disciplinary field. Papers, posters, and panels relevant to heritage language research and pedagogy were presented from the perspective of disciplines that include, but are not limited to, the following: anthropology, education, applied linguistics, linguistics, assessment, policy, bilingualism, psychology, demographics, sociology.
I presented in a panel with Jane Ross (New York University) and Maya Smith (University of Washington), and was honored to represent the FACE Foundation, which has hosted the French Heritage Language Program since 2005. Our talk, entitled “Multiculturalism and Multilingualism: Creative Teaching Techniques in the Heritage Language Classroom,” featured the French Heritage Language Program which has sought to address the needs of underserved French-speaking communities throughout the U.S. With the goal of “making French an asset for new Americans,” the FHLP creates a space where these students can construct their identities as multilingual speakers and learn the value of their various cultural backgrounds. You can download our PowerPoint presentation here: Ross_Smith_Jaumont_NHLRC18
On March 1, Global Language Project organized a conversation and book signing around my book, The Bilingual Revolution as part of Language Matters, an ongoing series designed to support Global Language Project’s mission of expanding access to world-language education for students in underserved communities. Each breakfast or lunch features a guest speaker who is a business leader or celebrity, followed by a moderated discussion.
La revolución bilingüe: una nueva guía escrita desde la experiencia misma ayuda a padres y educadores a establecer programas educativos bilingües en el sistema escolar estadounidense. La historia de un movimiento local que surgió en Nueva York.
I recently took part in a broadcast panel discussion on bilingual education at the CCTV Center for Media & Democracy (Channel 17) in Burlington, Vermont, to both present my book, The Bilingual Revolution, and support efforts to create a bilingual educational experience in the school system of Burlington. Host Steve Norman, Francophile and activist, took part in this discussion alongside Congo-born Cleophace Mukeba, Vermont Ibutwa Initiative founder, and Burlington City Council President Jane Knodell. Continue reading →
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.). Continue reading →