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ERIC Number: EJ830632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
Lafayette School District: French Immersion Program
Boudreaux, Nicole
Learning Languages, v13 n1 p22-24 Fall 2007
From 1969 to the late 1980's, most French programs in schools were based on a traditional foreign language instructional model, usually offering 30 minutes a day of French language instruction in elementary grades, increasing to 50 minutes a day in middle school. Contingent on funding and political swings over time, programs expanded from Kindergarten to 8th grade, or contracted to 4th through 8th grade. These short lived programs could be considered the ancestors of immersion, as students were taught their subjects both in French and in English. The first substantial French immersion program--still in existence today--opened in 1986 in Lake Charles, near the Texas border, at the urging of outsiders brought there by the oil boom, many of whom wanted their children to take advantage of the bilingualism evident in the area. Today, ten school districts have immersion programs in a total of 32 schools, making Louisiana the state with the largest number of immersion programs. Lafayette, Louisiana opened its first three immersion schools in 1992, in reaction to a grass roots movement of Cajun families, mainly young parents whose own parents spoke French and wanted to provide their children with the linguistic heritage missing from their own education. In this article, the author talks about the Lafayette French immersion program, which has been part of Lafayette school district's desegregation plan mandated by the U.S. Justice Department since 2005. Lafayette's immersion program has evolved over the years. Now, the program is meeting the challenge of accountability and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative from the federal government.
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001