“Language Immersion”

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Language immersion is a school program specifically designed for the acquisition of a new language through the learning of academic content. From its beginning in Canadian French immersion in the 1960s, the language immersion program, sometimes called bilingual education, has spread around the globe and includes both one‐way and two‐way models. Students in language immersion typically develop the immersion language to much higher levels than do students in foreign language classrooms. However, full language competence is sometimes not developed, especially in the productive skills of speaking and writing. Key factors determining the effectiveness of immersion programs are methodologies that balance content learning and language acquisition, specific teacher preparation for immersion programs, and long‐term program planning and implementation.


Originally published as:

Dormer, J. E. (2018). Immersion. In J. I. Liontas, T. International Association, & M. DelliCarpini (Eds.), The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching (pp. 1–8). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0213