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The Method of Language Immersion Essay

“If one wants to swim he should enter the water, one cannot learn to swim in the desert even if he studies for years.”
‘Does language immersion work for my child? ‘I hear you ask.

Well like most primary school settings we, at Ysgol Plascrug, use different methods of teaching; do different exercises and have many other ways of encouraging a second language. Many young children reap the benefits of having parents with different native tongues. They are immersed in two languages at the same time so develop both languages side by side. But not all of the children are lucky enough to have bilingual parents. The main cause of this is lack of practice in spoken Welsh. Most teachers usually explain things through the medium of English with Welsh as a separate subject and a few classroom phrases.

Some teachers try and do their spoken work by speaking bilingually, however this can be time consuming and can often confuse some children who are perhaps EAL or learning Welsh as a 3rd language on top of learning English as a 2nd. One phrase that best describes language immersion is ‘practice makes perfect’. The more you practice with your children at home and the more they practice in school the better they become and the more confident they become in speaking in another language.

This also is very beneficial and can further develop other branches of skills in school. Such as KUW tasks, Maths, Language, P.E. It improves their confidence in themselves and increases the amount they can learn as they are constantly speaking and working through 2, sometimes 3 different languages. Language immersion ensures that your child gets the most out of school and enables them to widen their linguistic skills. This quote from the Internet perfectly sums up what language immersion does for your child and what parents want for their children.

“ Becoming bilingual opens the door to communication with more people in more places, and many parents want to provide their children with skills to interact competently in an increasingly interdependent world community”

J. Cummins, U.S Dept. Of Education

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