Conference to Examine Impact of Bilingualism on Child Development and Education

Living with Two Languages: The Advantages of Being Bilingual to take place on Saturday, April 13 2013 at the Lycee Francais de New York


NEW YORK, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- What's the best age to start and master a new language? Are bilingual students smarter? Does knowing two languages offer advantages in learning how to read, write and do math? Does being bilingual have an impact on our personal and emotional development?  These themes, and many more, will be addressed during the daylong conference, Living with Two Languages: the Advantages of Being Bilingual, at the Lycee Francais de New York on Saturday, April 13. Experts from the United States, France and Canada, including renowned researchers, Ofelia Garcia and Ellen Bialystok and author Karen Le Billon, will explore bilingualism from the perspectives of education, sociology, psychology and gastronomy. 


The conference will also be live-streamed from the event website:

The event is free and co-organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Lycée Français de New York in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada, Institut Francais, the French Heritage Language Program, The Alfred and Jane Ross Foundation, and the Center for Applied Linguistics.

"The Lycée Français de New York has been associated with bilingual, not to say multilingual education, for over 75 years. We are delighted and proud to be able to organize a forum for sharing ideas and experiences for all those like us who are deeply passionate about and deeply committed to bilingualism," said Sean Lynch, Head of School, Lycée Français de New York. 

The first panel, "Regards Croisés: Crossing Perspectives on Bilingualism,"addresses bilingual education. Panelists include CUNY professor Ofelia Garcia, a specialist in bilingual teaching; Nancy Rhodes, Director, Foreign Language Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics; and Vannina Boussouf, Director of the Primary School at the Lycée Français de New York, where students from over 40 different nationalities come together every day in a bilingual French-English learning environment.

During the second panel, "Language, Emotions and the Bilingual Brain,"educators and researchers, including Ellen Bialystok, an expert in cognitive psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada, will discuss the connection between bilingualism, emotional intelligence and brain development. Dr. Bialystok's research shows how in the bilingual brain the early development of some cognitive functions helps bilinguals manage multiple tasks more easily. "Ellen Bialystok is a pioneer in bilingualism," said Sylvie Ozon, a science teacher at the Lycée Français and the moderator of the session. "She has been working on bilingualism for nearly 40 years and uses many methods, ranging from psychology to behavioral sciences and modern imagery, to support and deepen her research." 

The third panel, "Manger Bilingue (Eating Bilingually),"takes a unique look at bilingualism from a culinary perspective, with Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University;  Ariane Daguin, president of D'Artagnan, and Karen Le Billon, author of the best-selling book, French Kids Eat Everything. In her book, Le Billon, who has lived in France, explains why French children are more likely to try everything. The panel offers insights into how being open to a wide range of foods at an early age helps children to keep an open perspective throughout their lives.

"Living, thinking and even eating bilingually, especially in the young, is a multiplier for opportunity. It helps in being open to others, strengthening one's emotional life and also provides a key tool for helping to better understand the world," said Fabrice Jaumont, Education Attaché, Embassy of France to the United States, and co-organizer of the conference.

"The primary objective of the day is to advance the dialogue and understanding of everyone who wishes to explore bilingualism, a topic that is so fundamental in the 21st century," added Sean Lynch.

"Living with Two Languages is intended for anyone interested in bilingualism: parents, educators, students and journalists." Living with Two Languages: the Advantages of Being Bilingual takes place on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 9am to 4pm at the Lycée Français de New York, 505 East 75th Street, New York, NY 10021. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit:

Press Contacts

Elisabeth King

Director of CommunicationsLycée Français de New York+1 212.439.3859,
Cecile Gregoriades

Communications ManagerLycée Français de New York+1 212.439.3851,
Kathryn Hamilton

Press Attaché Cultural Services of the French Embassy +1 212.439.1417,
Jeff Breithaupt

Head, Media Relations & CultureConsulate General of Canada in New York

About the Lycée Français de New York
Founded in 1935, the Lycée Français de New York (LFNY) is a non-profit, independent private coeducational institution located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Lycée offers an international, bilingual education to a diverse community of 1330 students representing nearly 50 nationalities from early childhood through high school. The school's mission rests on three pillars: academic excellence, personal growth and fulfillment, and global citizenship. The Lycée is chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, and accredited by the French Ministry of National Education and by The New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS.) The LFNY awards the New York State High School Diploma and prepares students to pass the traditional French Baccalaureate, the International Option of the French Baccalaureate, and a special French-American Baccalaureate. For more information, visit

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The French Cultural Services provides a platform and resources for cultural exchange between French and American artists, intellectuals, curators and arts professionals. It is dedicated to creating new models for international dialogue in the arts and education from French and American perspectives. Based in New York City, Washington D.C. and eight other U.S. cities, the Cultural Services' principal fields of action are the arts, literature, cinema, French language programs and Higher Education.

Media Contact:

Cecile Gregoriades Lycée Francais de New York, 212.439.3851,

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SOURCE Lycee Francais de New York



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