Immersion Education à l'Américaine: A Descriptive Study of U.S. Immersion Programs


  • William E. De Lorenzo Ph.D,

    1. University of Maryland College Park
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 2

      William E. De Lorenzo (Ph.D, Ohio Slate University) is Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education and ESOL at the University of Maryland. College Park

  • Lois A. Gladstein M.Ed.

    1. University of Maryland College Park
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 3

      Lois A. Gladstein (M.Ed., University of Maryland), is a teacher of French and English as a Second Language


ABSTRACT: Since the early 1970's, immersion education has become an increasingly popular vehicle in the United States for achieving functional competency in a second language. Borrowed from our Canadian neighbors, immersion education is characterized by teaching the school curriculum entirely in a second language in the first two years of the program, and gradually introducing instruction in the native language in the third year, until it represents fifty percent of the instructional language by grade six. Directors of U.S. immersion programs have adopted the Canadian immersion education concept and have simultaneously adapted the concept to meet the needs and objectives of their particular instructional settings. The following article presents an overview of fourteen immersion education programs in this country. The seven categories which comprise the framework of this descriptive study are: 1) Program Origin; 2) Program Format; 3) Program Articulation; 4) Student Backgrounds; 5) Program Funding; 6) Factors Contributing to Program Success, and 7) Research Results.