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Portland Ore., home to a storied Mandarin program, may get French too

December 15, 2011

After a lengthy public hearing and discussion Monday, the Portland school board is poised to decide Thursday whether to approve the metro area’s first public French immersion school.

Backers of the proposed Le Monde Public Charter School want to open a 400-student full immersion French language school in Southwest Portland next fall. They would start with kindergarten and first grade, and all teaching would be in French except a short daily English language lesson for the first-graders, organizers say.

As a charter school, it would be free to students and open to children from any area school district, with students chosen by lottery if more apply than there are seats available.

Seattle and Eugene have public schools that offer French immersion, but Portland, with a large and active Francophile community, does not, said Linda Witt, director of the nonprofit Alliance Francaise of Portland, which offers continuing education in French to local adults.

Please read more here.

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