The history and nature of immersion programs in American context

Ekaterine Pipia

Abstract


The presented paper tends to reveal the value of recently implemented dual language instruction for minority children in the
United States of America and addresses the categorization of various theoretical models of dual language instruction. Americans
have
experienced
a
public
attention
to
“language
problems,
which
caused
some
radical
changes
in
policies
for
educating
language
minority
children
and
bilingual education
programs.
These
policy shifts
were caused
by
struggles over
social

dominance
among
cultural
and
ethnic groups within
the
larger society”
(Sidanius
& Pratto, 1999). Searching for
the sources
about
the topic showed that
the effort
to create a social and
political
atmosphere in
which cultural
and
linguistic diversity
are
not

only accepted but also truly valued is a difficult one. The ideology of cultural and linguistic assimilation and the relative
power and status of speakers of different world languages among mainstream, immigrant, and minority populations have created

conflicting social and political agendas that play themselves out in reform initiatives in public schools. Bilingualism and
bilingual education in the United States became the subject of renewed controversy as schools felt the impact of increasing immigration
to the United States. As
recent attention and validation has
been directed toward Foreign Language and
the National
Foreign
Language
Standards that call for communicative competence,
many schools are turning to dual language education

to
strengthen
second
language
proficiency
among
students
in
the
United
States.
It
results
in
creating
immersion
programs
as

a
viable means of second
language acquisition
and
effective
schooling practices
for language
majority
and minority students
in
the United States of America.


Keywords


Dual Language Programs, Immersion, immigrants, majority and minority languages, elementary and secondary schools

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