Language Immersion Schools

by NYC Firm Schools on August 27, 2009

There have been many discussions about private foreign language immersion schools in the U.S. and how they are growing in popularity. The global marketplace has put a never-before-seen importance on the need for multiple language capabilities. Parents everywhere, especially in diverse New York, see the need for their children to be able to be fluent in multiple languages in order to truly succeed in the future.

Language Immersion Schools

Language immersion is a method of teaching a second language. The methods used differ from traditional language teachings. In a traditional course, the target language is simply the subject material of the course. In a language immersion environment, however, the target language is also a teaching tool. The language, in all its forms, is used to surround and immerse students in its atmosphere.

In a language immersion program, in-class activities such as math, social studies and history are all taught in the second language. Even out of class activities like meal times are conducted in the target language as a part of the immersion process.

Immersion School Program Types

  • Total Immersion: In this type of program, almost 100% of class time is spent in the foreign language, with all subjects taught in foreign language. Learning of the language itself is necessary throughout the curriculum of the program. This type of program is usually part of a grade school curriculum. In later years, the curriculum can, however, be found in both the original and foreign language as students are by then quite proficient in both.
  • Partial Immersion: In partial immersion, usually 50% of the class time is spent learning subject matter in the foreign language. Students are expected to become functionally proficient in the second language and to master subject content taught in the foreign language. Though the abilities learned are often less than those in a total immersion program, many parents prefer a partial immersion program for their children.

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