Tag: Education

California to Create 1,200 Dual-Language Programs by 2030

The California Department of Education has announced the creation of 1,200 dual-language programs in public schools over the next 12 years. But some critics say this initiative doesn’t go far enough. California has a population of 40 million people but only seven French-English bilingual public schools. The state intends to make up for this shortcoming through the Global California 2030...

The French in Our Lives

This week-end, Americans will be celebrating Bastille Day by eating crêpes and drinking wine and cheering on the French team in the World Cup final. Foreign language advocate and devoted Francophile Kathleen Stein-Smith takes a look at the influence and impact of French language and culture in the United States. It is possible sit in a café, to have a macaron...

Coucou French Classes Moves to Nolita, Manhattan

Coucou French Classes opens new headquarters in Manhattan, moving from Williamsburg’s backyard soirées to Nolita’s boho apartment aperitifs. These French language classes began in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2013. "There was a niche in the market," remember Marianne and Léa Perret, French expats, cousins, and founders of the project. "We wanted to create a linguistic and cultural center that stood out...

The Rebirth of Cajun French in Louisiana in Classrooms and Online

From Baton Rouge to Lafayette and from the App Store to social media, a group of Louisianan activists is fighting to preserve the language of their ancestors — Cajun, or Louisiana French. Luke Romero uses his iPhone if he wants to understand his Francophone grandparents. Born into a family based in Louisiana since the 18th century, the 33-year-old software developer...

Kentucky’s First Dual-Language Classes Open Next August

Two dual-language French-English classes are set to open next August at Whitney Young Elementary, a public school in Louisville, Kentucky. The school sees the classes as a chance to help its underprivileged students. The dual-language French-English immersion program was approved in a four-to-one vote by the parent-teacher council at Whitney Young Elementary School on February 27, 2018. "It’s a wonderful...

Book Clubs in France and the United States

While the American style of book club is growing in popularity with French people, particularly via social media, the culture of group reading is not as widespread in France as in the United States. Publishing historian Jean-Yves Mollier compares U.S. book clubs — originally inspired by religion — and their French counterparts — born of worker’s rights and activism. France-Amérique: What is...

The Theater at the Lycée Français de San Francisco Gets a Makeover

The only Francophone theater in the San Francisco Bay Area has launched several weeks of renovation in order to host dance shows, movies screenings, and more actors than ever before. The new space is set to reopen in February. This success story will soon be celebrating its tenth anniversary. A certain Frédéric Patto first arrived at the Lycée Français de...

Comparing Gender Equality in France and the U.S.

Wellesley College, one of 52 women’s colleges in the United States, will host a French-American symposium on gender equality on October 20-21. Bringing together 78 scholars, policymakers, activists and thinkers including the civil rights leader Angela Davis and the former French Ministers Christiane Taubira and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the conference will explore the different ideas and approaches to gender equality in...

A Documentary Depicts the Rebirth of French in Louisiana

A pair of French teachers have spent two years following the key players in the rebirth of the French language in Louisiana, including teachers, activists, politicians, students and parents. The duo’s resulting documentary, Theo’s Choice, will premiere in Lafayette, Louisiana on January 26, 2018. Théodore Brode is one of the rare French teacher from Louisiana. He is part of the...

“Parents Are Driving Bilingualism in the United States”

Fabrice Jaumont has a vision. By the year 2050, the Education Attaché at the French Embassy in New York hopes to have introduced a dual-language program into every school in America. Utah already has one in five schools organized in this way, and French is one of the languages of choice. In fact, with more than 160 bilingual options in...

The Lycée International de Houston Starts its First Semester

The school will be opening its doors for the first time on August 21, offering an additional option for the increasing number of Francophone families in Houston. The corridors are freshly painted, the floor has been laid, and the furniture is all in place in the classrooms. The Lycée International de Houston was inaugurated on July 14, 2017, and is...

The Alliance of French and American Universities

The Alliance Program, a partnership between Columbia University in New York and three French institutions — Ecole Polytechnique, Sciences Po and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University — has awarded 700 dual-degrees in the past ten years. Each one of these graduates spent half of their schooling in Paris and the other half in New York, making their education an equal product of...

The Atlantic
Boston Opens its First Haitian-English Immersion School

Long the victim of discrimination in Boston schools, Haitian Creole is now on par with Spanish, which has had its own public bilingual program since 1970. Read more in The Atlantic.

A Public Immersion Program for Pasadena

Two French-English bilingual classes will open next August at the Pasadena, California, school district. In a state where public schools are rare, this free program is quick to seduce parents. Gary Prézeau is from Sherbrooke in the Quebec province. His wife, Kerry, is Australian. Based in Pasadena, California, since 2001, the couple endeavor to raise their son “in a bilingual environment.” Their five-year-...

Bilingualism Becomes a Government Affair in Salt Lake City

Public schools in Utah are focusing on dual language immersion to create a generation of cosmopolitan citizens and attract international investors. With a total of 3,900 children involved in the Francophone part of the program, Utah is the second American state — just behind Louisiana — with the highest number of pupils learning French. Room 216 is an ordinary classroom, with a whiteboard, 30...

Fiddles, French, and the Quest to Save a Forgotten Dialect

Dennis Stroughmatt didn’t like French at school. Despite this fact, the American musician and historian has become the sole guardian of a quickly-vanishing French dialect from Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Today he is fighting to keep Illinois French alive by teaching seminars and playing concerts throughout the United States. France-Amérique: How did you come upon “Illinois French”? Dennis Stroughmatt: I...

Are Online Classes the Way Forward for French Departments?

French departments threatened with closure in the United States are finding a solution online. Four universities in Georgia recently joined forces to create the first online bachelor’s degree in French Dorothée Mertz-Weigel meets her French students for an advanced conversation class every Monday at 9pm. The discussions takes place online via Skype. The students include office workers, soldiers and homemakers,...

A Vote to Repeal the Ban on Bilingual Public Schools in California

On November 8, 2016, Americans will choose who will be their president for the next four years. On the same day, Californian voters will also decide the future of dual-language education in their state. In a sort of direct democracy, 17 propositions are being put to the vote in California this year. They include the abolishment of the death penalty...

Arizona Opens its First Dual-Language Public Elementary School

In August 2016, Desert Sun Academy became the first public elementary school in Arizona to offer a dual-language immersion program in French and English, available for two kindergarten and first-grade classes. Hayden Enriquez, 5, spends three hours a day learning to count and name the colors of the rainbow in French. She will start learning the alphabet when she arrives...

Endangered French Department at Rural Kentucky University “Waits Anxiously”

Last August, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) threatened to suspend its French department. Since then, Randi L. Polk – one of the two full-time professors of French at the university – has been trying to attract more students and save her program. France-Amérique: How did the recent $3 million state funding cuts affect the French department? Randi L. Polk: Last January, Kentucky governor Matthew...

Bilingualism Is “a Huge Success” at the EINY

After eight successful academic years, the Ecole Internationale de New York (EINY) is pushing forward with its “fully bilingual” curriculum in its new buildings. France-Amérique met with Yves Rivaud, the founder and head of the school, in the new nursery, pre-k and kindergarten which opened in September 2015. After working as a French teacher and head of several Franco-American schools...