Immersion is a term used by schools and the media to describe this particular type of education.This is the most intensive form of foreign language instruction. It is important because it allows students to gain a cultural and linguistic knowledge as a resource. Children then learn the best of both worlds; the foreign language and the English world.
Immersion schools can be set up differently. In some, the foreign language is used to teach subjects for half of the day, while English is used for the other half. However, some immersion schools are set up where the foreign language is spoken the entire day, even in the younger grades. According to “What Parents Want To Know about Foreign Language Immersion Programs” by ERIC Digest, “In Grades 2, 3, or 4, teachers introduce English language arts and reading for one period per day and gradually move toward an even distribution of English and the immersion language by Grade 5 or 6. In the secondary school grades, immersion students typically have access to at least two course offerings in the immersion language, most often in social studies and language arts” (par.3).
Sometimes, the language used in an immersion program is one that is being revitalized. An example of this is Hawaiian and Yupik (the Alaskan native language). Often times, this is the case if the immersion program is offered within that certain community where that language derives from. This picture is an example of children at a school in Kaunakakai, Hawaii.
This is because the written word and the way it presents itself on paper transfers from languages. Children also receive the same, if not better, scores on standardized tests as children who are not apart of the program.
Some researchers believe that if a student with a language disability or has trouble with auditory skills, if entered into an immersion program, may become “over-taxed.” However, mild disabilities can still achieve at a great level so it should be considered on a case by case basis.
Children in this type of school perform foreign languages at a more skillful and knowledgeable level than students in non-immersion program schools. This is something to consider; immersion schools vs. public schools.This is due to the fact that they need to pay closer attention to teachers, especially when first learning the language. Because of this, these students pay closer attention to detail and think harder compared to students in a non-immersion program.
While public schools are extremely adequate, immersion schools may possibly be more beneficial for the way our world is progressing. (i.e. globalization and the economy).Since there are no negative aspects, it can be viewed as an improvement on the current educational system.
This shows the growth and changes of the immersion program since the start of it.This is a total of 33 states and 83 schools districts in the United States.
Overall, immersion schools are a positive aspect of education. They may possibly be the way of education for the future. They have no known negative aspects and seem to help children learn even more!
What is an Immersion School?<br />A type of school that incorporates a foreign language into the functions, teaching, and learning of an everyday classroom. <br />Usual classroom activities and curricular are performed in a foreign language.<br />Concept of the more you know, the better off you are. <br />
Continued...<br />Students learn the skills necessary to learn and understand subject material while speaking effectively in a foreign language.<br />English is not the subject of instruction, instead it is used as a medium for which the subject material is taught. <br />
Continued...<br />The most common languages used for immersion programs includeSpanish, French, and Cantonese. <br />Students follow the same curriculum and sometimes even use the same materials as students who are not in the immersion program. <br />
How do students learn?<br />There is a guideline that these teachers use.<br />“In early years, teachers use body language, manipulatives, visuals, exaggerated facial expressions, expressive intonations to communicate their meaning.<br />Songs, phrases, rhymes, and chants are used everyday to help remind students of the language.<br />
Continued...<br />This does not negatively impact children’s development of the English language, it advances it. <br />It take about 2-3 years for children to become fluent in a language with an immersion program.<br />
Continued...<br />These programs are open to all children.<br />No admission tests required<br />There are some concerns with children who have language disabilities<br />
Impacts on K-12 Education<br />One of the fastest growing and most effective type of foreign language programs.<br />These students may have better learning skills.<br />
Continued...<br />Overall, another aspect to consider with education.<br />Again, doesn’t impair student’s English development and there are no known drawbacks to this type of education.<br />
What Is Being Done With This Issue?<br />A fast growing type of education<br />No current legislation <br />Gradually becoming more popular, has been around for 35 years.<br />
Continued...<br />CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics) has been tracking the immersion programs from the start.<br />Has compiled information for educators and parents to see.<br />Total of 336 language immersion programs housed in 263 schools. <br />
Conclusion<br />Beneficial for learning<br />May be the way of the future<br />No known drawbacks to this type of learning!<br />Students perform just as well, if not better, on standardized tests.<br />
Works Cited<br />Text Sources:<br />Tedick, D. J., & Fortune, T. W. (2008). What Parents Want To Know about Foreign Language Immersion Programs. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.ericdigests.org/2004-4/parents.htm<br />Center for Applied Linguistics: Foreign Language Immersion Programs (1993). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.cal.org/resources/Digest/met00001.html<br />