Immersion is defined as a method of foreign language instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught through the medium of the language. The foreign language is the vehicle for content instruction; it is not the subject of instruction.
The long-range goals of an immersion program include:
Studies (Holobow et al., 1987; Swain & Lapkin, 1991) have consistently shown that immersion students do as well as, and may even surpass, comparable non-immersion students on measures of verbal and mathematics skills.
Read about an Académie Lafayette graduate who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT English test.
Successful immersion programs are characterized by:
As a parent, you want to make the best educational choice for your child. For many, this includes the advantages of bilingualism. However, the ability to understand and speak more than one language is not the only benefit of immersion education. Research shows that students gain additional cognitive, academic, and employment benefits. For more information:
In traditional second language instruction, the target language is the subject of instruction. Immersion programs use the target language for instruction and as a means of communication. This authentic communication allows students to learn a second language in the same way they learned their first language.
A November 2007 article in The Language Educator states, “the younger an individual is when exposed to a new language, the greater the probability for success in acquiring proficiency as well as native pronunciation.”
No. Children with all types of academic ability can succeed in an immersion program, not just above-average students. Studies show that students with lower academic abilities do as well in immersion as they do in English programs. Every student has the same opportunity and the potential to become bilingual.