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Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Published on October 21, 2020

Researchers have identified that dual language students develop greater cognitive functioning, better memory and superior solving-problem skills.

The EMBASSY OF FRANCE is delighted to announce the results and achievements of the French Dual Language Fund (FDLF) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The French Dual Language Fund (FDLF), an initiative of the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France and the FACE Foundation, supports French dual language programs flourishing in public schools across the United States. There are currently around 170 programs in public schools in 27 states.

The growing body of research on bilingualism shows the lasting impact these programs will have for generations to come. Researchers have identified that dual language students develop greater cognitive functioning, better memory and superior solving-problem skills. These programs have shown reduced drop-out rates, faster rate of learning of additional languages and a positive sense of self-identity.

In an increasingly global and competitive job market, being bilingual at an early age can translate into many more opportunities to study and work abroad.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the Fund, inaugurated in 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims to support the development of French dual language programs in American public schools while fostering the quality, equity and diversity of those programs.

In the midst of the current pandemic, the Fund is proud to have maintained its support to French Dual Language Immersion (DLI) public schools during their greatest period of need, in order to make French DLI available to all :

● The 5th Annual Grant Cycle has awarded funds to 49 schools throughout the United States. These grants will impact over 10,000 students with a grand total of $150,000 in funding, 68% of which will fund the acquisition of reading materials and classroom resources (including online resources designed for distance learning education), 19% will support professional development initiatives, and 14% will support projects such as language testing and the organization of cultural events. (See the map of our network)

For the 2019-2020 school year we focused on building culturally rich and authentic texts in the French immersion classroom. With the assistance of the French Dual Language Program grant, I procured a wide array of texts by Francophone authors covering social justice and equity themes, Francophone communities as well as rich Francophone culture and concepts. I crafted week-long units that touch on issues such as gender discrimination and bullying, cooperation and solidarity to cultural “ateliers” on Francophone Africa, Canada and the Antilles. Built into these units were accompanying extension writing and speaking activities to reinforce and enrich the concepts taken directly from the books.”

Joseph McFadden, French Teacher
Cherry Park Elementary – Rock Hill, SC

● Félicitations to our grantees for this year’s cycle of the Future Immersion Teacher Fellowship. 9 students have been awarded a grant, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to pursue a degree in dual language education at one of our partner universities thus allowing these fellows the opportunity to make a lifelong contribution to French dual language education in the United States.

The FIT Fellowship has supported my studies by covering $10,000 worth of tuition expenses. It was a tremendous help and I am very grateful for receiving it. After completing my graduate degree, I hope to begin teaching in an elementary school French immersion setting in the Acadiana region. Today we have the opportunity to speak our language once again in school and the community without feeling shame. Once again, I would like to thank the FACE Foundation for awarding me this grant. It has been a tremendous help towards my career path. I am very thankful for the work that the FACE Foundation is doing to promote the French language here in the United States and in building good relations between France and America, merci!”

Blake Boutte
University of Louisiana – Lafayette, LA

● The pandemic having considerably upset international travel, this program—facilitating the hiring of native French Teaching assistants by dual language public schools—has been completely redesigned to secure the recruitment of 25 assistants by 11 schools.

The grant that we received from the French Dual Language Fund made the intern program possible. With the very tight budget that our district is experiencing, programs such as this are in jeopardy. This French-speaking intern brings authentic language and current culture to the forefront allowing students to be more connected to the realities of multilingualism and cultural similarities and differences.”

Maureen Peltier, French Teacher
Saint Paul Central High School – Saint Paul, MN

● As the French Dual Language and Immersion Professional Development Institute, initially planned over summer, has been delayed, the Embassy will host an online professional training, in partnership with the University of Southern California for DLI teachers, administrators and parents on November 14th and 15th. (Full program to be announced).

sponsors and private donors

The Cultural Services of the Embassy of France and the FACE Foundation thank their sponsors and private donors for their generosity.

Contact

To get involved or to report on these operations in your media outlets, please contact:

Elise GIRAUD

Deputy Press Counselor

Office: +1/(202) 944-6080
Cell: +1/(202) 944-0838
Email: elise.giraud@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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