In the United States, French is spoken by hundreds of thousands of people, mostly coming from Haiti, West Africa, Canada, and Europe. For many of them, especially new immigrants and lower socio-economic status families, retaining access to some instruction in French is a challenge.
The French Heritage Language Program is a program of the non-profit foundation FACE, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States. Since 2005, it has helped over 1,000 children, students and adults from underserved communities of francophone background maintain a good working knowledge of the French language and keep strong bonds with their respective cultures and identities.
The primary objectives of the program are to help these students enrich their knowledge of French (reading comprehension, writing, oral expression and other literacy skills), regain confidence through cultural identity building, develop bilingual skills and thus increase their opportunities for success in their new environment, both academically and professionally.
Through university partnerships, this project also hopes to contribute to scholarly research in the field of heritage language learning. As a pilot program, it is a place for pedagogical and methodological exploration, and a way to build new partnerships. We seek to develop curriculum models that can be replicated and adapted in other cities in the United States. The French Heritage Language Program works closely with the Internationals Network for Public Schools, which includes nine high schools for new immigrants in New York City and one in Oakland, California, all working at the development of models for global education.
Our program is offered in New York, Florida, Maine and Boston. The demand for French Heritage classes is high across the country and we are looking for new partners to help us set up new programs where is needed.
In New York, the French Heritage Language Program currently serves 300 students at elementary, middle and high school levels, and in several community centers.
- Bronx International High School
- International Community High School (Bronx)
- Brooklyn International High School
- International High School at Lafayette (Brooklyn)
- International High School at Prospect Heights (Brooklyn)
- International High School at Union Square (Manhattan)
- IS 229 Roland Patterson School (Bronx)
- NYFACS, New York French American Charter School (Harlem)
- Malian Cultural Center (Bronx)
- Bethanie SDA Church (Brooklyn)
- Eben-Ezer SDA Church (Brooklyn)