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- Book Description
New Insider Guide Helps Parents and Educators Create Dual Language Education Programs in the American School System
The Bilingual Revolution, the Story of a Grassroots Movement that Emerged in New York
The book The Bilingual Revolution: The Future of Education is in Two Languages tells the story of a grassroots movement that emerged out of the dedicated involvement of motivated parents, educators, and community actors willing to create and support dual language programs in New York City public schools.
Combining insight on learning and living in two languages, the book shares practical applications and examples of bilingual education, from preschool to high school. With New York City as a backdrop, Fabrice Jaumont, from a personal and scholarly perspective, recognizes in his book the successes and setbacks of these programs through vignettes that feature the parents and educators he helped initiate bilingual programs in their schools.
Although the roots of bilingual education in the United States can be traced back to the early 17th century, Jaumont describes a new phenomenon sweeping the country with the objectives of:
- Embracing families’ and communities’ own unique cultures and promoting their linguistic heritages as important parts of the greater international mosaic of our society
- Helping facilitate community re-engage with public schools
- Promoting a social, economic, and cultural sense of community and helping to bridge gaps that continue to divide us
Nicknamed the “godfather of language immersion programs” by the New York Times, Fabrice Jaumont has more than 25 years of experience in international education and the development of multilingual programs in the United States. In spearheading what he calls the “Bilingual Revolution,” Jaumont has put his expertise at the service of the French, Italian, Japanese, German, and Russian communities by helping them to develop quality dual language programs in their local public schools. He is himself the father of two bilingual and bicultural girls who attend a public dual language school in Brooklyn.
A true believer in the benefits of bilingualism –from improved critical thinking to a profound sensitivity toward other people and cultures–, Jaumont depicts and encourages the development of bilingual programs. It is his belief that these offerings can positively transform and empower children, schools, and communities in unprecedented ways. In the diversity of the stories he shares, Jaumont paints a picture of a viable 21st-century solution to preserve linguistic heritage and raise a generation of young bilingual, bi-literate, multicultural citizens of the world.
The Bilingual Revolution, the Future of Education is in Two Languages, by Fabrice Jaumont
Publisher: TBR Books
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Formats: Paperback, hardcover, eBook and audiobook.
- About the Author
A native of France, Fabrice Jaumont moved to the United States in 1997 after earning his M.A. degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Normandie. After serving as the Attaché for Academic Affairs for the French Consulate in Boston, during which time he had the opportunity to visit numerous schools across the country, he worked as the Director of Middle and Upper School of the International School of Boston. Since 2001, Fabrice Jaumont has held a position with the Embassy of France to the United States, where he oversees the development of French dual language and heritage language education in public schools across in the New York area. He is also a Program Officer of the French-American Cultural Exchange Foundation, and the founder/Editor-in-Chief of the e-platform New York in French. He was also a Language instructor with the United Nations Secretariat, Lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin, and Adjunct Professor at the National College of Ireland before moving to the United States. In 2014, Jaumont received his Ph.D. in International Education – International Development from New York University.
Fabrice Jaumont has successfully designed and developed a broad range of educational programs in the United States, advocating to and engaging with communities to develop advanced dual bilingual programs in American schools. He was nicknamed the “Godfather of Language immersion programs” by the New York Times in 2014.
In recognition of his work in the areas of bilingual and multilingual education, Jaumont received a Knightship in the National Order of Academic Palms from the Government of France in 2012, the Medal of Reconnaissance from the American Committee of French-Speaking Societies in 2015, and the Francophone Award of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in 2016.
Jaumont is the author of Unequal Partners: American Foundations and Higher Education Development in Africa (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2016) which focuses on the role of philanthropy in education, and on the influence of American foundations over universities in the developing world. Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, wrote the book’s foreword.
In 2016, Jaumont was named a Senior Fellow with the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) Humanitarian Studies Platform. His research project investigates the role of American philanthropy in international education development. He is the author of Partenaires inégaux, Fondations américaines et universités en Afrique (Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Février 2018).
Short bio available here.
- Book Cover
Illustration by Raymond Verdaguer
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- Author Pictures
Credits: Jonas Cuénin
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- “Bilingual Education: Making a U-Turn with parents and Communities,” foreword by Ofelia García:
About Ofelia García
Ofelia García is Professor in the Ph.D. programs of Urban Education and of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been Professor of Bilingual Education at Columbia University´s Teachers College, Dean of the School of Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, and Professor of Education at The City College of New York. Among her best-known books are Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective; Translanguaging; Language, Bilingualism and Education.
García’s extensive publication record on bilingualism and the education of bilinguals is grounded in her life experience living in New York City after leaving Cuba at the age of 11, teaching language minority students bilingually, educating bilingual and ESL teachers, and working with doctoral students researching these topics. In 2016 García received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and in 2017 she received the Charles Ferguson Award in Applied Linguistics from the Center of Applied Linguistics, and the Lifetime Career Award from the Bilingual Education SIG of the American Education Research Association.
Usually books on bilingual education are for teachers and little attention has been previously paid to how families can act to ensure that American public schools develop bilingual education programs for their children. The most important story told by Fabrice Jaumont in this book is that of the desire of American families to have their children schooled bilingually, in English, but also in a language that has deep connections to them.
Fabrice Jaumont’s book recaptures the promise of a bilingual education tradition and reminds us that all Americans––those with different racial identities, social class, and immigration history––have different linguistic and cultural practices. In this book, American parents whose children’s heritages include linguistic practices that have traces of what are considered Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, understand these practices to be important.
Jaumont’s book proposes a U-turn for bilingual education, a return to its beginnings. Rather than starting with government mandates and regulations and focusing only on those who lack––lack English, lack years of residency, lack economic means––Jaumont proposes that we start with the wishes of ethnolinguistic communities (old and new) to bilingually educate their children. The bilingual education programs that Jaumont portrays in this book start with the children and the desires of parents and communities for their education.
It is interesting that it has been a scholar of French heritage living and working in the United States that has recognized (and in many ways spearheaded) this bilingual revolution. Jaumont’s role in educating all parents to understand the benefits of bilingual education, as well as in supporting parents of all backgrounds in organizing themselves, has been without equal, for from the beginning he knew that only parents and communities could be change agents. The success of the American bilingual education tradition will rely on the willpower of parents. But willpower alone is not enough, and that is why Jaumont in this book gives parents a roadmap of how to start and support successful bilingual education programs.
Ofelia García’s foreword to The Bilingual Revolution is available here.
- Book Endorsements
Jaumont’s book stands on the edge of the nascent bilingual revolution running through the United States’ school system and asks how it might be improved and encouraged. Jaumont describes the country’s growing enthusiasm for multilingual education – and provides a roadmap for communities who want to join the movement.
—Conor Williams, New America’s Education Policy Program
This engaging book tells the story of the history of the bilingual education in the U.S.A. and the social forces that shaped that trajectory from perspective that is both personal and scholary. The center piece is a “how to” manual for setting up your own bilingual school and in so doing creating your own revolution. Recommended for parents, teachers, and everyone who thinks that languages are important.
—Dr. Ellen Bialystok, Chair in Lifespan Cognitive Development, York University
Fabrice Jaumont weaves the personal, political, and community stories of the growing bilingual movement together in a compelling, vitally important book that interlinks personal stories with the practice and science of bilingual education. This masterpiece will be indispensable for parents and educational leaders in the United States and abroad.
—William Rivers, Joint National Committee on Languages, National Council for Language & International Studies
In our ever more interconnected, miniaturized, and fragile era schools the world over are endeavoring to equip youth with the skills, competencies, and sensibilities to flourish as autonomous, engaged, and productive citizens. The teaching and learning of languages and the cultivation of the so-called bilingual advantage is resurfacing with great vigor in schools, large and small, all over the United States. It seems everywhere parents and teachers are searching to find the sweet spot of dual language teaching and learning. Search no more: The Bilingual Revolution is your book. It is a rare achievement. It combines profound insight into learning and teaching but also identity and cosmopolitanism with practical applications and exemplary proof points. The Bilingual Revolution is must-read for every parent, every teacher, every administrator interested in creating and supporting best dual language programs for the 21st Century.
—Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Dean of Education, UCLA
As chair of a global corporation, I know first-hand how crucial mastering languages is for communicating with and understanding managers, clients, and consumers from all over the world. This is only made possible by the knowledge of multiple languages. Fabrice Jaumont’s powerful book, The Bilingual Revolution, shows how empowering multilingual education can be for our youth, showcasing a very promising trend in the United States. A must-read for anyone interested in the future of education.
—Bruno Bich, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, BIC Group
Multilingualism is no longer a luxury afforded only to the affluent or lucky few who can attend dual-language schools; it is a critical 21st century skill that children will need to be successful in their future work and life. Jaumont’s Bilingual Revolution in many ways levels the playing field by sharing various world-language program models and best practices, while also demystifying language learning so that parents and educators have a feasible road map to begin a “revolution” of their own. Bilingual Revolution is a must read for any parent who wants to ensure their child will be world and workforce ready
—Angela Jackson, Founder, Global Language Project
- Sample Questions for Fabrice Jaumont, Author, The Bilingual Revolution, the Future of Education is in Two Languages (August 26, 2017)
- Why did you write The Bilingual Revolution?
The idea for this book came about through my efforts to support the development of dual-language education in American public schools since the late 1990s. My work includes collaboration with numerous school leaders, teachers, parent groups, and community organizations. Together, we developed an initiative that led to the creation of New York City’s first dual-language programs in French, Japanese, German, Italian, and Russian. In 2014, our story caught the attention of numerous media outlets including the New York Times, which published an article on the rise of dual-language programs in New York that highlighted their potential positive impact on public school communities. An interesting debate ensued regarding the relevance of teaching foreign languages today in the United States and the validity of early language acquisition. This debate, and the questions that it raised among parents within several linguistic communities, pushed me to write this book.
- What surprised you the most as you researched or wrote it?
Through my research, as well as my professional and personal experiences, I have found that children who have had a bilingual upbringing enjoy numerous benefits beyond the acquisition of another language, including a better appreciation of other cultures, other individuals, and even oneself. Additionally, I have come to believe that the cognitive, emotional, and social advantages of being bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural should simply not be limited to private schools and those who can afford to attend them. In my opinion, dual-language education is a universal good that ought to be developed everywhere, as it can positively transform a child, a family, a school, a community, and even a country. It is with this belief and with the conviction that parents can make a difference that I wrote this book in the hope that more bilingual programs will sprout in schools around the world.
- What’s the most important lesson or message readers will get from it?
As the father of two bilingual and bicultural girls who attend a dual-language program in a public school in Brooklyn, I am deeply attached to the concept of dual-language education as a way to both sustain a cultural heritage and acquire a second language. I wanted the book to be directed towards parents and educators, with the goal of providing accessible knowledge, guidance, and encouragement as they consider implementing a dual-language program in their community or school. In that spirit, the book provides a roadmap for parents willing to embark on such an initiative, along with suggested steps to follow, examples, and testimonies from parents and educators who have chosen a similar path.
- Did writing this book change your life in any way?
My first encounter with language immersion schools was in Massachusetts, in the towns of Milton and Holliston, in the late 1990s. As a native of France, these programs immediately caught my attention because they offered immersive curricula in French, from Kindergarten to high school, to children in the United States who did not necessarily have a particular connection to the French language or a French-speaking country. More importantly, these programs were in public schools, free of charge, and therefore accessible to every student and family. This made a strong impression on me as I witnessed children mastering my own native language, eventually becoming bilingual and biliterate themselves. The book reflects how these schools, along with the educators and the parents that stand behind them, continue to inspire me to this day and have had an enormous influence on my own life and career.
- What do you hope will come from others reading the book?
I hope readers will see that dual-language programs have the potential to provide life-long skills to their children, and can open doors to a myriad of rewarding opportunities. Like myself, I hope they become convinced of the incredible benefits of bilingualism and determined to give their children the gift of language. And I certainly hope many readers will consider starting their own dual-language program. It will revolutionize their community and school.
- What are you working on now?
I am currently crowdfunding eight translation projects via Indiegogo so that “The Bilingual Revolution” can be available to numerous linguistic communities. “La Révolution bilingue” is already available in French, and I plan to add eight languages by December 2017: Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. Readers are welcome to visit the Bilingual Revolution website to support a translation. In offering these translations, I want to reflect the various dual language programs and linguistic communities that are featured in the book, and help other communities in the United States and elsewhere to follow in their lead. Also, I do hope my book will help raise awareness about the advantages of dual language education, and inspire a few people to create programs in their own countries.
- Talk and Book Signing Announcements
A calendar of events is available here.
- Other Media Interviews and articles
Dr. Fabrice Jaumont played a leadership role in this grassroots movement and he has just written a book about it. The Bilingual Revolution describes what happened and gives the necessary ingredients for those who plan to start a [dual-language] program. – François Grosjean for Psychology Today
Fabrice Jaumont’s book is about education and the teaching of foreign languages in the American school systems. […] It is also about cultures, ancestries, foreign roots, identities, and above all, how they manifest through languages. At its heart, this book is a love letter to the preservation of linguistic diversity. – Frederic Colier for The Epoch Times
In his work, The Bilingual Revolution, Fabrice Jaumont encourages students’ parents to petition their local authorities, approach schools, and create dual-language programs in their neighborhoods. It seems the “bilingual revolution” will be fought by families. – France-Amérique
Over the years, Fabrice Jaumont has coached parents, both Francophone and others, to participate in the “bilingual revolution” in the New York public schools. Now, he’s releasing a book about his experiences. – French Morning
More reviews about Fabrice Jaumont’s works or The Bilingual Revolution are available here.