n my family, everyone is multilingual. Economic need, personal inter-
est, and political misfortune have inspired my family members to learn
French, Arabic, Spanish, German, English, and Catalan over the past
My life experiences have shaped my language acquisition and multi-
cultural thinking. I was born in French Algeria. My family became refu-
gees in Spain during the Algerian War (1954–62), when I was a child. I
immigrated to the United States as an adult. My first language is French.
My second is Spanish. My third is English. My adult children are bilin-
gual in French and English. My Minnesotan grandchildren are, too.
I started my teaching career as a French and Spanish instructor. Later
I worked as an early childhood teacher, parent educator, and administra-
tor in programs serving both U.S.-born and immigrant families. I have
also taught college courses and written publications on dual-language
learning. As an education consultant, I meet with and survey immigrant
families and educators, and I observe, film, and assess classrooms and
child care homes. My specialty is the multilingual classroom in which
the children are learning English together but speak different languages
at home. I cherish watching children learn, and I enjoy training and
coaching their teachers. Helping monolingual and bilingual teachers
understand their role, discover their strengths, and use their skills effec-
tively is always rewarding.
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