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Other immersion language surging as well

December 1, 2012

Demand for French education surges in Louisiana

By Stacey Plaisance

Associated Press / November 16, 2011

 NEW ORLEANS—The wave of Hispanics who flooded the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina doesn’t appear to have dampened Louisiana families’ demand for their children to get a French education.

There’s a waiting list at all 29 of the state’s public French immersion programs, and this year at least one school — the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans — received more applications for its French program than ever before.

Demand for Spanish language education remains strong, both for local use and as a language of inter-American commerce. But even some Spanish-speakers are seeking French language education for their children.

Gayle Perez, a New Orleans native who grew up speaking Spanish because of her Ecuadorean parents , enrolled her son in ISL’s French program. Now 10 years old, Alejandro Perez, is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

“It was the best thing I could have done for my son,” Perez said. “He’s not just learning a new language. He is learning that there’s another part of the world out there, one that’s not only English-speaking or only Spanish-speaking.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2012 2:51 pm

    Thanks for putting this article up.

    I’d also hope that we (the US of A) eventually get around to introducing an African language in our schools.

    Most African Americans are partly of West African origin. Akan, a widely spoken West African language, would be an example of a terrific addition to the package of languages our children might learn to speak.

    Like many Asian languages, it is a tonal language. It has it’s own rich cultural and literary history. It is widely spoken in Ghana and neighboring countries and is at the nexus of vibrant development in West Africa.

    Furthermore, there is a small but well established community of Akan speakers in the Bay Area.

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