Haitian Creole in Education: Lessons from the U.S. Diaspora


Material Information

Haitian Creole in Education: Lessons from the U.S. Diaspora
Series Title:
Haiti’s Challenges: Rebuilding Lives and Nation in the Earthquake’s Aftermath
Physical Description:
Zéphir, Flore
Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:


Haitian Creole in Education: Lessons from the U.S. Diaspora. Panelist: Flore Zéphir, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Missouri-Columbia What are the best methods for using Haitian Creole as the language of instruction in schools in Haiti? What are the challenges and opportunities associated with such use of Haitian Creole? This presentation focuses on the many efforts that have been undertaken by Haitian educators in the Diaspora here in the United States to educate Haitian immigrant children in their mother tongue. It focuses on the many challenges they have had to overcome with regard to the perception of Haitian Creole as a “low” language and with regard to material development. These challenges must be addressed so that Haitian students can have access to a meaningful education that enables them to succeed. The thesis is that lessons learned from the Diaspora can empower teachers in Haiti to reach and educate all their students and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to become productive citizens. Professor Zéphir, a native of Haiti, is professor of French, coordinator of the Master’s program in foreign language teaching, and chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) She is the author of three books: Haitian Immigrants in Black America: A Sociological and Sociolinguistic Portrait (1996), Trends in Ethnic Identification Among Second-Generation Haitian Immigrants in New York City (2001), and The Haitian Americans (2004). She also serves as book review editor for the Journal of Haitian Studies and has received several awards at MU including a Kemper award for excellence in teaching (1995), an award for excellence in advising (2003), and a Faculty-Alumni award (2004). Professor Zéphir teaches French language classes at all levels, as well as courses in foreign language teaching methodologies, French linguistics, bilingualism and multiculturalism, and minority and Creole languages. Her research interests include foreign language education, bilingual education, Creole studies, sociolinguistics, and ethnic and immigrant studies with a particular focus on the Haitian Diaspora in the United States.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the source institution.
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