The French Embassy, various US foundations, the NYCDOE Office of English Language Learners, as well as parent associations such as Education Française à New York (EFNY), have collaborated to develop French-English bilingual programs in the City’s public schools, and within community-based organizations. The programs were developed not only to serve the French families who had initiated after-school programs, but also to meet the needs of a growing number of diverse Francophone immigrant children who are emergent bilinguals, better known as English Language Learners. A true bilingual revolution is taking place in New York's public schools.
In order to succeed, French-English bilingual programs in New York require a solid tri-partite partnership –– strong commitment from school leadership, qualified and dedicated teachers, and ceaseless involvement from parents at all levels. Schools hosting these programs also benefit from the diversity of the population they serve and the diversity of their teaching staff, able to incorporate linguistic and cultural differences into their pedagogy. This model also encourages cognitive advancement, with recent neuroscientific research suggesting it develops the brain's executive control functions.
This is the French bilingual revolution that has been achieved through the willingness of different communities to work together – the fruit of multiple partners from local, national and international organizations, private foundations, parent groups, and the the flexibility of the New York school system.