International Letter to the Editor

Need for French-English Bilingual Education Clear

April 24, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Two New York City public schools have been selected by the French government to receive the newly created “FrancEducation label,” which recognizes their outstanding efforts to promote and develop French bilingual education.

These schools, PS 58 in Brooklyn and PS 84 in Manhattan, will join a select group of schools worldwide to receive this prestigious honor. The label is an official endorsement that will help them showcase their achievements and gain additional access to such resources as teacher-development programs, special grant programs, and partnership opportunities.

For me, this is especially good news as this officially recognizes the French bilingual revolution that has taken place in New York City and other urban centers over the past few years.

These schools’ commitment to dual-language teaching and learning is a considerable accomplishment amidst the widespread decline in the availability of foreign-language instruction in elementary and middle schools nationwide, especially in schools serving lower-socioeconomic-status families.

Hopefully, the label will encourage more involvement from education departments, schools, families, and community organizations in developing French bilingual programs in the United States. In New York alone, there are more than 300,000 Francophones, and fewer than 2,000 children are currently benefiting from a free French bilingual education.

Recent waves of immigrants from West Africa as well as from Haiti represent a significantly increased Francophone presence in New York and other urban centers. Combined with a significant demand from middle-class expatriate and American families for access to bilingual public elementary and middle school programs, these newer French-speaking communities can help mobilize support for bilingual school programs in French and English, programs that are so essential to the long-term survival of these bilingual communities.

Fabrice Jaumont


New York University

New York, N.Y.

The writer is an education adviser for the French Embassy to the United States.

A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2012 edition of Education Week as Need for French-English Bilingual Education Clear


Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!

Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.
International Pre-COVID Learning Inequities Were Already Large Around the World
A new international benchmarking highlights gaps in training for digital learning and other supports that could deepen the challenge for low-income schools during the pandemic.
4 min read
International Part of Global Trend, 1 in 3 U.S. High Schoolers Felt Disconnected From School Before Pandemic
UNESCO's annual report on global education progress finds countries need to make more effort to include marginalized students, particularly in the United States.
4 min read
International How Schools in Other Countries Have Reopened
Ideas from Australia, Denmark, and Taiwan can help American district and school leaders as they shape their reopening plans.
11 min read
Students at the Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan, perform The Little Mermaid in full costume and masks.
Students at the Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan, perform The Little Mermaid in full costume and masks.
Photo courtesy of Dustin Rhoades/Taipei American School