What is Immersion? Why French?
What Is Immersion?
Immersion is a method of instruction in which the regular curriculum is taught through the medium of a foreign language. The foreign language is the vehicle for content instruction; it is not the object of instruction. Taught at an early enough age, this method accomplishes two tasks with one effort as students are instructed on a curriculum while they absorb a foreign language.
Studies have shown that immersion student outcomes on standardized achievement tests are generally more favorable than those of general education, ESL or transitional bilingual education programs.*
More than 270 million people on five continents speak French. It is ranked among the most influential languages in the world and is the lingua franca of art, cuisine, dance and fashion. It is the second most commonly taught second language beside English and is estimated to be the derivative of more than one-third of all English words. It is estimated a native English speaker already knows 15,000 French words.
Although more people speak Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish, French is spoken in more countries and over a greater geographical area than any other, making French second only to English as a global language. French is also one of the official languages for NATO, INTERPOL, and the United Nations, and the third most common language on the Internet.
*Howard, Elizabeth R., Julie Sugarman and Donna Christian. Trends in Two-Way Immersion Education. Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk. 49. http://www.csos.jhu.edu/crespar/techReports/Report63.pdf