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Why Learn French?

Whether your family speaks French at home or merely loves all things French, your child is lucky to be raised in a multicultural environment and to be able to identify with more than one culture. By teaching children French, parents and teachers help form that emotional bond we all have with our native tongue, and sometimes even with our second language. But beyond speaking it at home, there are many other good reasons to learn French.

  • French is spoken around the world by more than 300 million people in 106 countries and territories on 5 continents.
  • French is an official working language of international organizations such as the UN, EU, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Red Cross.
  • French is important on the international job market. There are over 3,000 satellite offices of French companies in the United States, and many American companies have offices in France.
  • French is the international language of culture, including gastronomy, dance, fashion, theater, visual arts, and architecture.

Here are a few interesting articles on being bilingual

A French Company in Every U.S. State

By Clément Thierry, France Amérique - Septembre 20, 2018
"There is not a single American state without a French business within its borders. From New York to Alaska, companies such as Airbus, Michelin, Bel, Louis Vuitton, Safran, Saint-Gobain, and Sodexo are creating jobs and contributing to the U.S. economy." (Read the article)

The Boom in French Immersion Classes in Texas

By Clément Thierry, France Amérique - March 2017
"Immigrants from France, the Ivory Coast, Lebanon and Vietnam are joining forces in Houston to convince local authorities to create new French education programs. The state of Texas offers almost 4,000 Spanish immersion programs, and is now beginning to welcome other foreign languages." (Download the PDF)

6 Reasons Why Your Bilingual Child Might Drop Your Language

By Bea Sleradska - Septembre 6, 2016
"It is a challenge in raising a bilingual child to provide an environment where he or she can be equally exposed to both languages. The theory is one thing, though, and real life experiences prove how difficult, if not impossible, it is to ensure that the child has a balanced exposure to both languages." (Read the article)

Raising Bilingual Children; Who Should Speak What?

By Kevin M. Wong - April 1, 2016
"Just the other day, I was on the subway in New York City when a family of three sat in the seats across from me. The mother was Japanese and spoke to her two children, who looked distinctly Eurasian, in Japanese. Asking about their day at school, the children replied in English, French and a little bit of Japanese, seamlessly switching between languages as if they were all one and the same." (Read the article)

In Defense of French

By Zack Simon - June 2, 2014
The following piece is a rebuttal to John McWhorter’s piece in The New Republic entitled, ’Let’s Stop Pretending That French is an Important Language’:
“And when he told me French was a dead language, I knew it was true,” recounted a friend of mine’s mother a few months ago as I sat with his family having dinner in London. She was describing a conversation she had had with a French friend of hers. They were discussing the impending death of the French language — a popular topic of conversation among Americans and French alike." (Read the article)

Being Bilingual: Two Native Languages, One Stroke of Luck

By Dominique Salomon, edited by Emmanuel Ducreuzet - February 18, 2014
"Infants are steeped in their native language. The one their parents speak. Sometimes the mother and father speak different languages. As a result, the child learns two or even three or four different languages. This is an enormous stroke of luck, as the languages are learned naturally." (Read the article in French)

Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee - March 17, 2012
"Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age." (Read the article)

The Economic Value of Languages?

By Jacomine Nortier - Octobre 20, 2011
"These were my last words in July, before I left for a long holiday trip to France. There I felt once more how it is to be in a country where you speak the language but not quite well enough to fully understand and use it with all of the finesse that native speakers do. I was happy to be with my partner with whom I could talk about every thinkable topic without linguistic barriers, despite the fact that our language is considered relatively unimportant in French eyes and is not understood by most." (Read the article)

The Bilingual Advantage

By Claudia Dreifus - May 30, 2011
"A cognitive neuroscientist, Ellen Bialystok has spent almost 40 years learning about how bilingualism sharpens the mind. Her good news: Among other benefits, the regular use of two languages appears to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Dr. Bialystok, 62, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, was awarded a $100,000 Killam Prize last year for her contributions to social science. We spoke for two hours in a Washington hotel room in February and again, more recently, by telephone. An edited version of the two conversations follows." (Read the article)

No Child left monolingual

TEDx by Kim Potowski - May 30, 2011
Watch the video

Michelle Obama Promotes French Culture

Watch the video