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ERIC Number: EJ1025776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Factors, Processes and Outcomes of Early Immersion Education in the Francophone Community in Belgium
Buyl, Aafke; Housen, Alex
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v17 n2 p178-196 2014
Although Belgium is characterized by a widespread consensus that a functional proficiency in the two major national languages, Dutch and French, as well as in English is desirable, educational provision to achieve such proficiency has long been constrained by an official language policy which mandates that education must be monolingual in Dutch, French or German. The last two decades, however, have witnessed an increased interest in bilingual education. In 1998, a legal framework was created for immersion education in the francophone part of the country, allowing for the use of Dutch, English or German as a medium of instruction from the age of five onwards. After an outline of the legal socio-political background, against which immersion education in Belgium is implemented, this paper describes structural and organizational features of early immersion education in the Francophone Community (FC), discusses pedagogical practices and reviews academic and linguistic outcomes. In addition, a study of the L2 development in one early English immersion school is presented. Results are compared to the L2 proficiency levels obtained in immersion preschools in Germany and Sweden. Outcomes are discussed in terms of the programme characteristics and of the challenges facing early immersion education in the FC.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium; Germany; Sweden