The French Dual Language Toolkit

This French Dual Language Toolkit is targeted at teachers, administrators, parents and anyone interested in starting and developing a French dual language/immersion (DLI) program. In it, you will find resources for advocacy, essential reading, contacts and case studies of established programs, pedagogical resources and materials for professional and curriculum development. This Toolkit is dynamic in that we regularly add new resources, so don't hestitate to check back and send us your comments.

Advocacy materials for French and Dual Language Education, Essential reading, Case Studies, Budgeting and Funding, and Teacher Recruitment

Professional Development, Teaching Resources, Francophone Environment, Assessments, Recognition, and Program Continuity

The Network of French DLI schools, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Dual Language Fund of the FACE Foundation

French Dual Language in the United States

French dual language and immersion (DLI) programs are rapidly expanding across the United States.

Designed for children of all backgrounds, these immersion programs give students the opportunity to take classes in both English and French. Because subjects such as math, science or history are taught in French in these dual language and immersion programs, French becomes the medium of instruction rather than a foreign language.

Today, bilingual education is unquestionably the most original and effective solution to meet the challenge of opening the United States to the French language and the Francophone world.

The benefits of bilingual education are now recognized by all. Alongside greater open-mindedness and improved cognitive and intellectual agility, those who benefit from bilingual education are better positioned to access top-tier universities and gain entry into an increasingly globalized job market.

French dual language and immersion (DLI) programs are developing rapidly within the American public educational system. The network of French dual language programs now serves more than 30,000 students.

Today, 94 cities in 34 states offer English-French dual language programs in over 170 schools.

Prospected Evolution of French DLI in the United States, from 1970 to 2020

Number of French DLI programs per state in 2019

Glossary of different models types

Note: This website uses the term French DLI to encompass the variety of French Dual Language and Immersion programs existing across the United States.

50/50: An immersion program model in which English and the partner language are each used for 50% of instruction at all grade levels.

For French this is the model commonly used in Utah, but also in California, New York, and the Midwest.

90/10: An immersion program model in which students are instructed 90% of the time in the partner language and 10% in English during the first year or two, withthe amount of English instruction gradually increasing each year until English and the partner language are each used for 50% of instruction (generally by third grade).

For French, this model is mostly used in Louisiana.

DUAL LANGUAGE: A program in which the language goals are full bilingualism and biliteracy in English and a partner language, students study language arts and other academic content (math, science, social studies, arts) in both languages over the course of the program, the partner language is used for at least 50% of instruction at all grades, and the program lasts at least 5 years (preferably K-12). The Center for Applied Linguistics and other institutions use this term as an umbrella term that includes two-way immersion, foreign language immersion, heritage language immersion, and developmental bilingual programs. Throughout the U.S., it is frequently used synonymously with two-way immersion.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE IMMERSION: A dual language program in which students are primarily native English speakers learning a foreign language.

This is the most common model for French dual language in the United States.

HERITAGE LANGUAGE IMMERSION: A dual language program in which students are primarily English speakers with some proficiency in or with a cultural connection to the partner language through family, community, or country of origin.

For French, this is the case in New York (see French Heritage Program), and in Louisiana.

SIDE-BY-SIDE MODEL: A way of distributing languages for instruction in dual language programs in which students are instructed in one room by an English teacher and in another room by a partner language teacher. Students move between the two classrooms for instruction. Teachers generally teach exclusively in one language to two groups of students.

This is the most common instruction model for 50/50 programs.

TWO-WAY IMMERSION (TWI): A dual language program in which both native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language are enrolled, with neither group making up more than two-thirds of the student population.

For French, most of Two-Way Immersion programs are based in New York, where there is a large community of French native speakers.

Source: Glossary of Terms Related to Dual Language/TWI in the United States. CAL. Retrieved from: