A look at the advantages and disadvantages of the immersion approach to teaching English as a second language.
This paper first introduces this method of teaching English to minority groups in the United States. It then looks at debates among academic about the effectiveness of this method and whether traditional bilingual methods of teaching are preferred. The writer explains the unique characteristics of this method and the advantages thereof to minority groups. It explains how the immersion approach is also used in Canada and compares this to the United States. It finally presents three various models of immersion approach teaching.
“Immersion approach is being widely used today in American schools for the purpose of teaching English to children of minority communities. It has been noticed that because of traditional bilingual educational methods, children whose first language was not English were unable to acquire proficiency in English language. This dismal performance of bilingual education resulted in the adoption of immersion program which was designed by Canadian educators in 1960s. The program has now turned into a political issue as some quarters feel it is rather imperialistic an approach. But the success of this method has left many critics speechless but still it is important to implement immersion in such a manner that children would become not only proficient in English but would also be able to read and write in their native language.”
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