Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Researching Developing Discourses and Competences in Immersion Classrooms

  • Anne‐Marie de Mejía
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_256


It has been more than 40 years since the beginning of the first experimental Canadian French Immersion programme in St Lambert, Montreal in 1965 and the initiation of research into this educational phenomenon. Today, there is a well established and well regarded research literature on immersion programmes, both in Canada and in other parts of the world. Indeed, as Stern acknowledged as long ago as 1984, immersion is probably one of the most thoroughly investigated educational innovations of all times. According to Baker ( 2001), there are now over 1,000 research studies on this type of educational provision. Although the term ‘immersion’ is frequently used in relation to the ‘dual’ or ‘two‐way immersion’ modality which has become popular recently in the United States, in the context of this article, the term will be used to refer only to the type of (one‐way) bilingual programmes which originated in Canada in the 1960s.

Over the past four decades, the type of research...


Language Learning Target Language Minority Language Classroom Interaction Bilingual Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arnau, J.: 2000, ‘Catalan immersion teachers: Principles of language teaching’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 3(2), 79–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker, C.: 2001, Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, (third edition), Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  3. Baker, C.: 2003, ‘Education as a site of language contact’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 23, 95–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernhardt, T. (ed.): 1992, Life in Language Immersion Classrooms, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  5. Block, D.: 2003, The Social Turn in Second Language Acquisition, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  6. Bournot‐Trites, M. and Reeder, K.: 2005, ‘French and English literacy in French immersion: Student performance and perceptions’, 4th international symposium on bilingualism, Cascadilla Press, Somerville, MA.Google Scholar
  7. Caldas, S. and Caron‐Caldas, S.: 1999, ‘Language immersion and cultural identity: Conflicting influences and values’, Language, Culture and Curriculum 12(1), 42–58.Google Scholar
  8. Carey, S.: 1991, ‘The culture of literacy in majority and minority language schools’, The Canadian Modern Language Review 47, 950–71.Google Scholar
  9. Cummins, J. and Swain, M.: 1986, Bilingualism in Education, Longmans, London.Google Scholar
  10. de Courcy, M.: 1997, ‘Teaching and learning with different scripts: Cross‐cultural conflict in a Chinese late immersion classroom’, Language and Education 11(4), 242–259.Google Scholar
  11. de Courcy, M.: 2002, Learners’ Experiences of Immersion Education: Case Studies of French and Chinese, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  12. de Mejía, A.M.: 1998, ‘Bilingual storytelling: Codeswitching, discourse control and learning opportunities’, TESOL Journal 7(6), 4–10.Google Scholar
  13. de Mejía, A.M.: 2002, Power, Prestige and Bilingualism: International Perspectives on Elite Bilingual Education, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  14. Downes, S.: 2001, ‘Sense of Japanese cultural identity within an English partial immersion programme: Should parents worry?’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 4(3), 165–180.Google Scholar
  15. Ewart, G. and Straw, S.: 2001, ‘Literacy instruction in two French immersion classrooms in Western Canada’, Language, Culture and Curriculum 14(2), 187–199.Google Scholar
  16. Genesee, F.: 2004, ‘What do we know about bilingual education for majority language students?’, in T.K. Bhatia and W. Richie (eds.), Handbook of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, Blackwell, Malden, MA, 547–576.Google Scholar
  17. Harley, B. and Swain, M.: 1984, ‘The interlanguage of immersion students and its implications for second language teaching’, in A. Davies, C. Criper, and A.P.R. Howatt (eds.), Interlanguage, Edinburgh University Press, 291–311.Google Scholar
  18. Heller, M.: 1990, ‘French immersion in Canada: A model for Switzerland?’, Multilingua 9(1), 67–85.Google Scholar
  19. Hickey, T.: 2001, ‘Mixing beginners and native speakers in minority language immersion: Who is immersing whom?’, The Canadian Modern Language Review 57(3), 443–474.Google Scholar
  20. Hoare, P.: 2001, ‘A comparison of the effectiveness of a “language aware” and a “non‐language aware” late immersion teacher’, 5th European Conference on Immersion Programmes, University of Vaasa, Finland.Google Scholar
  21. Hoare, P. and Kong, S.: 2001, ‘A framework of attributes for English immersion teachers in Hong Kong and implications for immersion teacher education’, 5th European Conference on Immersion Programmes, University of Vaasa, Finland.Google Scholar
  22. Lambert, W.E. and Tucker, G.R.: 1972, Bilingual Education of Children: The St. Lambert Experiment, Newbury House, Rowley, MA.Google Scholar
  23. Lapkin, S. and Swain, M.: 1984, ‘Research update’, in H.H. Stern (ed.), The Immersion Phenomenon, Special Issue No. 12 of Language and Society, Commissioner of Official Languages, Ottawa, 48–54.Google Scholar
  24. Laurén, C.: 1992, Introduction, in Language Acquisition at Kindergarten and School. Immersion Didactics in Canada, Catalonia and Finland, University of Vaasa, Vaasa.Google Scholar
  25. Rivard, L.: 2001, ‘Summary writing: A multi‐grade study of French‐immersion and francophone secondary students’, Language, Culture and Curriculum 14(2), 171–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Spezzini, S.: 2005, ‘English immersion in Paraguay: Individual and sociocultural dimensions of language learning and use’, in A.M. de Mejía (ed.), Bilingual Education in South America, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  27. Stern, H. (ed.): 1984, The Immersion Phenomenon. Special Issue No. 12 of Language and Society, Commissioner of Official Languages, Ottawa, 4–7.Google Scholar
  28. Stern, H.: 1990, ‘Analysis and experience as variables in second language pedagogy’, in B. Harley, P. Allen, J. Cummins, and M. Swain, (eds.), The Development of Second Language Proficiency, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 93–109.Google Scholar
  29. Swain, M.: 1983, ‘Bilingualism without tears’, in M. Clarke and J. Handscombe (eds.), On TESOL ’82: Pacific Perspectives on Language Learning and Teaching, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages,Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  30. Swain, M.: 2000, ‘The output hypothesis and beyond: Mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue’, in J. Lantolf (ed.), Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  31. Swain, M. and Johnson, R.K.: 1997, ‘Immersion education: A category within bilingual education’, in R.K. Johnson and M. Swain (eds.), Immersion Education: International Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  32. Tardif, C.: 1994, ‘Classroom teacher talk in early French immersion’, Canadian Modern Language Review 50, 466–81.Google Scholar
  33. Tardif, C. and Weber, S.: 1987, ‘French immersion research: A call for new perspectives’, Canadian Modern Language Review 44(1), 67–77.Google Scholar
  34. Tosi, A.: 1990, Bilingual Education, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 10, 103–121.Google Scholar
  35. Vesterbacka, S.: 1991, ‘Ritualised routines and L2 acquisition: Acquisition strategies in an immersion program’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 12(1 and 2), 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne‐Marie de Mejía
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación y Formación en EducaciónUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia