Immersion Education: Applicability for Nonvernacular Teaching to Vernacular Speakers

  • Merrill Swain
Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)


Immersion education has been hailed in Canada as an innovative and effective method of second language teaching (e.g. Batik and Swain 1975; Stern 1978; Tucker 1980). However, in a recent article on ‘The Importation of Bilingual Education Models’, Mackey (1978) states that: ‘In most parts of the world, education in a language other than that of the home (in America, called “immersion”) has long been the only type available—even the only sort of education possible’ (5). And in the same article, writing about African education, he suggests that ‘To presume, therefore, to introduce immersion education in Africa as an innovative contribution from America is to display a profound ignorance of the history and development of African education—if not to risk being accused of neocolonialism’ (4).


Native Speaker Target Language Mother Tongue Language Instruction English Language Skill 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merrill Swain

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