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Immersion in Canada By: Lisa Keiderling, Janine Pütz Course: English in the United States and Canada Tutor: Prof. Dr. Hickey SS 06.

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Presentation on theme: "Immersion in Canada By: Lisa Keiderling, Janine Pütz Course: English in the United States and Canada Tutor: Prof. Dr. Hickey SS 06."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immersion in Canada By: Lisa Keiderling, Janine Pütz Course: English in the United States and Canada Tutor: Prof. Dr. Hickey SS 06

2 2 Overview 1. Introduction 2. Definition of Immersion 3. History of Immersion Education 4. Suitability 5. Pros and Cons of Immersion 6. Public support for Immersion 7. Conclusion

3 3 Introduction Certain services and communications have to be available in English and French Certain services and communications have to be available in English and French Official Languages Act in 1969 Official Languages Act in 1969 Official languages in Canada are English and French Official languages in Canada are English and French Nunavut and Northwest Territories have additional official languages (e.g. indigenous tongues) Nunavut and Northwest Territories have additional official languages (e.g. indigenous tongues)

4 4 Language Distribution

5 5 Current linguistic situation in Canada 30 million citizens of Canada 30 million citizens of Canada 67% native English speakers 67% native English speakers 26% native French speakers 26% native French speakers 7% native speakers of neither English nor French 7% native speakers of neither English nor French English 17,352,315 English 17,352,315 French 6,703,325 French 6,703,325 Chinese 853,745 Chinese 853,745 Italian 469,485 Italian 469,485 German 438,080 German 438,080 Punjabi 271,220 Punjabi 271,220

6 6 Definition of Immersion Uses the second language as the teaching and learning language Second language is also used in other classes like mathematics, history, and geography

7 7 Goals of Immersion Native-like listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of a second language Native-like listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of a second language To acquire same language skills in the native language as in regular schools To acquire same language skills in the native language as in regular schools To gain understanding and appreciation of the other culture To gain understanding and appreciation of the other culture

8 8 Total/Partial Immersion Total Immersion: Total Immersion: Students are taught 100% in the foreign language during the first grades Students are taught 100% in the foreign language during the first grades Partial Immersion: Partial Immersion: Students are taught half of the day in the foreign language, the other half in their mother tongue (alternating) Students are taught half of the day in the foreign language, the other half in their mother tongue (alternating)

9 9 Early Immersion Starts at an early age, usually Kindergarten or Grade One Students come from families with English as a First Language Often employs total immersion Students are taught 100% of their classes for the first 3 or 4 grades in French Pensum taught in French gradually decreases Students can take part in non-immersion classes in Junior and Senior High School

10 10 Middle Immersion Starts in grade 3 or 4 Starts in grade 3 or 4 Instruction language is the foreign language for about two grades Instruction language is the foreign language for about two grades After two grades native language is introduced After two grades native language is introduced Use of native language increases gradually Use of native language increases gradually In grade 5 or 6 Middle Immersion students blend with Early Immersion students In grade 5 or 6 Middle Immersion students blend with Early Immersion students

11 11 Late Immersion (I) Begins around entering Junior High School (grade 6 or 7) Is not as intensive as Early/Middle Immersion and deemed as not as effective. Completely fulfills the qualifications for the acquirement of a bilingual status at the end of the program concerning reading and writing

12 12 Late Immersion (II) Differs from Early Immersion in intensity, because the students take only about 75% of their classes in French Classes such as Family Studies/ Technology Education, and Physical Education, which are taught in English are usually the courses that make up the other 25% Often slight deficiencies in speaking French Often slight deficiencies in speaking French

13 13 History of Immersion Education Impulse of Anglophone parents in Montreal Impulse of Anglophone parents in Montreal Theory by Wilder Penfield Theory by Wilder Penfield “Experimental immersion kindergarten” in 1965 in St Lambert “Experimental immersion kindergarten” in 1965 in St Lambert Success was immense Success was immense

14 14 Suitability In order to evaluate the effectiveness of immersion for all students, special needs students have been examined In order to evaluate the effectiveness of immersion for all students, special needs students have been examined Problems of those students were: Problems of those students were: low level of academic ability low level of academic ability low level of native language ability low level of native language ability low socio-economic background low socio-economic background They usually show better results than comparable at- risk students, who have received conventional L2 education They usually show better results than comparable at- risk students, who have received conventional L2 education

15 15 Pros and Cons of Immersion  Supports bilingualism  Helps the students in becoming more eligible for future jobs  Helps to promote French culture and makes it easier for English-speaking students to live in French- speaking communities  The idea of bilingualism is good, but it does not necessarily work with immersion

16 16 Pros and Cons of Immersion  Results of immersion students in standardized and non-standardized English language proficiency tests taken in higher classes were equal or even better than those of the control groups  Fluency and sophisticated literary creativity cannot be tested in those standardized tests

17 17 Pros and Cons of Immersion  Results of immersion students in standardized and non- standardized English language proficiency tests taken in higher classes were equal or even better than those of the control groups  Experience with immersion graduates showed more incidents of false starts, hesitation pauses, ‘uhs’, and even some definitely non-English use of words  Hammerly: This spoken English is a problem → necessity to address in research

18 18 Pros and Cons of Immersion  Reading and listening comprehension in French tested with early and late immersion students in grade eight are on native-like level (early total immersion) or only slightly worse (early partial immersion)  Results of late immersion students were significantly lower  Tests for reading and listening comprehension skills are multiple choice tests and do not explore all the linguistic nuances to which native French speakers are sensitive

19 19 Public support for Immersion Federal bilingualism policies are unnecessary and excessive government regulation Federal bilingualism policies are unnecessary and excessive government regulation In Quebec French-nationalists resent the bilingualism policies In Quebec French-nationalists resent the bilingualism policies Support for bilingualism appears to be strongest in the area known as the Bilingual belt Support for bilingualism appears to be strongest in the area known as the Bilingual belt Groups such as the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada, and books such as Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow, have advocated the end of official bilingualism Groups such as the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada, and books such as Bilingual Today, French Tomorrow, have advocated the end of official bilingualism

20 20 Conclusion Highly recommended by many persons of public life Highly recommended by many persons of public life Nevertheless criticized by high-donated scientists Nevertheless criticized by high-donated scientists Immersion is a good idea which not always works as intended Immersion is a good idea which not always works as intended

21 21 References Hammerly, Hector. An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching and its Practical Consequences. Blaine: Second Language Publications: 1985 Hammerly, Hector. An Integrated Theory of Language Teaching and its Practical Consequences. Blaine: Second Language Publications: 1985 Hammerly, Hector. French Immersion: Myths and Reality. Calgary:Detselig Enterprises Limited: 1989 Hammerly, Hector. French Immersion: Myths and Reality. Calgary:Detselig Enterprises Limited: 1989 Hammerly, Hector. Fluency and Accuracy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters LTD, 1991 Hammerly, Hector. Fluency and Accuracy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters LTD, 1991 Swain, Merrill and Sharon Lapkin. Evaluation Bilingual Education: A Canadian Case Study. Clevedon: Short Run Press LTD, Swain, Merrill and Sharon Lapkin. Evaluation Bilingual Education: A Canadian Case Study. Clevedon: Short Run Press LTD,


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