Génération Bilingue [fr]
Génération bilingue (bilingual generation) is a mobility program put in place in 2013 by the Institut français, aiming to promote bilingual education in the world. This program is aimed at students 16 to 18 years of age following French national curricula in French and proposes that they share their story as students in French high school with other francophones from around the world each summer in France.
Selected through a competitive exam given by the cultural services of the French Embassy around the world, these students are invited to go to France to participate in a program of meetings and linguistic, sports and cultural activities while at the same time sharing their dreams and experiences. The francophone high school students around the world project, on bilingualism, local stories and global interests do indeed make a bilingual generation!
This year 60 students from 34 countries will get together from the 13th to 23rd July, where the program will allow them to discover French cultural and touristic heritage. The number of places offered depends on the number of bilingual classes per country. Thus the USA has one spot available.
Santana Mitchell of Lafayette High school will represent the USA and Louisiana’s bilingual future during this international meeting in France. Santana is 16, in 11th grade and has been in French immersion since the very beginning and continues, in high school, to follow several classes in French (science, maths, social sciences, literature and French as second language) with Mario Cahrest and Marianne Cheramie, Professor of French immersion at the High school.
This leading project in high school French education is rewarded in its first year because of the opportunities given to students and the excellent quality of education and results that it gives. This is an omen of the potential of the international high school’s projects, that the educational authorities in Lafayette have been working on in collaboration with the university and the local government, francophones elected representatives, the CODOFIL and international partners such as France.
Santana was selected at the end of March through a written exam, presenting his motivations to participate in the « Génération bilingue » competition. His letter got the attention of the jury and qualified him out of the 3 candidates (Florida, New York and Louisiana) for an interview beginning of May. At the end of the interview, conducted by the ambassador of France in Washington, Santana was declared the winner and representative of the USA in France this summer in the mobility program « génération bilingue ».
All our congratulations to Santana, his professors, Lafayette High School and to all those, LDOE, CODOFIL, LCIS who work towards the development of bilingual education at high school level. Bravo!
In partnership with RFI and TV5Monde, the Institut Français will make a video documentary of this encounter destined to promote bilingual education throughout the world. It will an opportunity to witness on screens around the world of the commitment and excellence of Louisiana’s francophonie !