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ERIC Number: ED348857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: 0
Practical Second-Language Applications of the Theoretical Foundations of French Immersion in Canada.
The French immersion experience in Montreal, since its inception in 1965, is considered highly successful. Despite critics who note that its results fall short of perfect bilingualism, French immersion has achieved what it set out to accomplish: functional bilingual competencies. In doing so, French immersion has challenged many assumptions about bilingualism through validation of several sociolinguistic and linguistic principles: that (1) a second language can be learned effectively if an approximation of the natural imitative environment in which the first language was learned can be created at school; (2) a second language is more easily learned when children are exposed to it in a sustained fashion from an early age; (3) because the principal function of language is communication, language learning should mean learning how to use the language for communicative purposes; and (4) a second language, like a first language, can be learned effectively if presented in the context of meaningful and relevant content. As a result, language can no longer be considered a collection of incomprehensible foreign codes but more generally perceived as tools of functional communication and creative expression. In addition, language is no longer a window through which culture is viewed, but provides opportunities for participation. A brief bibliography is included. (MSE)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Communicative Competence (Languages), Cultural Awareness, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, French, Immersion Programs, Instructional Effectiveness, Program Descriptions, Second Language Instruction, Second Languages, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; French Language Schools; Quebec (Montreal)
Note: In: Acting on Priorities: A Commitment to Excellence. Dimension: Languages '90. Report of Southern Conference on Language Teaching; see FL 020 470.