Friday, January 31, 2014

French government aims to undermine New York schools?

That headline was just to get your attention. What's really happening is that the French government, as reported in today's New York Times, is raising money for bilingual French/English education in New York City schools. Bilingual education has long been a flash point in America, with many parents fearing that learning a subject in a foreign language will impact their child's performance in that subject. And you can kind of understand their concern, except that studies have proven that bilingually educated children actually perform better than their one-language peers.

And, as a bonus, they presumably won't go to France and, as I once did, tell a waiter, "I'll have the ham in newspaper and my son will have my daughter."

There are already around a thousand kids attending English/French classes in New York, where half the classes are taught in English and half in French. Many of the kids' parents are French immigrants, but there is also a growing number from Haiti, the French Caribbean, and North Africa, where, let us not forget, French is also spoken.

Kudos to the city and the French government! And vive la France!

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