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Over 3,000 immersion programs in the United States now

November 1, 2019

The article is about French immersion in Louisiana but it contains this interesting tidbit, that there are:

now at least 3,000 such programs in the United States, up from an estimated 2,000 cited in a 2017 study published by the RAND Corporation, and a significant upsurge from about 260 cited by the Department of Education in 2000. 

The most common immersion language in the USA is Spanish, followed by Mandarin and then French (though it’s hard to come by numbers.) So interesting that we’re up to as many as 3,000. Of those, about 305 are Mandarin immersion.

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Louisiana Says ‘Oui’ to French, Amid Explosion in Dual-Language Schools

This fall, more American students than ever will start their first day of school learning in a language other than English.

From The New York Times


MAMOU, La. — On the first morning of school on the Cajun prairie last week, Alice Renard marched her third graders outdoors and under the sheltering arms of a live oak, speaking to them in a language that used to be beaten out of Louisiana schoolchildren.

Ms. Renard’s Parisian French seemed at once at home and out of place in Cajun country, like the voice of Édith Piaf emanating from a zydeco club. She told her students they had come outside “pour apprendre à travailler ensemble” — to learn to work together — by learning a few new playground games: L’oiseau silencieux, the silent bird. Douaniers et contrebandiers, customs agents and smugglers. Pingouins sur la banquise. Penguins on ice.

Ms. Renard, 27, was one of roughly 65 French-speaking teachers imported by Louisiana this year to help bolster its growing roster of dual-language French immersion schools, part of an international recruitment program that dates to 1972. Most of her students bore Cajun or Creole surnames — Desormeaux, Guillory, Martel, Thibodeaux — and the summer break had rendered their language skills rusty.

Please read more here.

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