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Haitian Creole–English Language School Opens in Boston – The Atlantic

Geralde Gabeau, a longtime leader in Boston’s Haitian community, used to work at the Boston Medical Center and with medical students at Boston University. Several years ago, there was a shortage of interpreters at the medical center to assist patients speaking Haitian Creole. Gabeau, turning to young adults in her own community, found few people had the necessary skills. Yet her university students spoke the language.

“There are so many white students willing to go to Haiti and learn the language,” Gabeau said. “I was convinced something had to be done.”

Gabeau has been part of a committed group of Haitian leaders who have spent much of the last decade pushing Boston Public Schools to open a dual-language program, in which children can take their classes, from math to social studies, in both English and Haitian Creole. The language is the third most-spoken language in Boston Public Schools, second only to English and Spanish—and the Spanish-speaking community has had a dual-language program that caters to its children since 1970.