EdMedia Commons Archive

Bilingual Education no longer a taboo word?


I’m trying to write a story about new French-English dual-language programs opening in NYC’s public schools in the Fall. But I am having an issue about not calling a cat a cat, as we say in French. When will it be ok to call bilingual education “bilingual education”?

The creation of these programs has been a grass-roots effort, with communities of parents forming and lobbying for their implementation. 10 different programs are opening in public schools across the city, in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, the Upper West Side and Queens. The number of students in the public school system enrolled in French dual language education has increased exponentially. Numerous signs show that it’s producing positive results no matter where you come from or what language you speak at home.

And yet these programs are still officially called “dual-language”. 

Isn’t it time to use the term bilingual education objectively in the US? The exponential increase in dual language programs is accompanied by social and scientific interest, with recent press articles on the neurological benefits of bilingualism as well as the career advantages for bilingual students in an increasingly interconnected world.

Surely, this calls for relativity.

Is bilingual education a taboo word where you live?

Thanks for reading (and best of luck to EdMedia)

Fabrice Jaumont



This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.