French Immersion Program: Testimony of a First Grade Teacher



ABSTRACT: In September of 1987, an elementary public school in Milton, MA began offering a French immersion program in first grade. This paper describes how the students' mode of communication during their first year of immersion evolved from implicit to explicit, physical to verbal, simple to complex. Input was made comprehensible by providing students with contextual clues that helped them predict the content of the message. Reorganization and correction of form occurred indirectly through individualized remodeling and negotiation of the message's content between student and teacher. Cooperation between immersion and non-immersion staffs helped integrate the program into the total school curriculum. The linguistic and psychological reasons behind the program's success are discussed and benefits to the students are described.