Bilingual immersion education (general)

The definition used on this website: Bilingual Immersion Education means that one or more subjects are taught in a language other than English in UK schools (e.g. arts, physical education, citizenship, geography, maths, etc.)

Bilingual immersion education became popular in the 1970s in Canada and since the 1990s also in Europe. There is an increasing number of bilingual immersion education models in the UK. Bilingual immersion education means that school subjects, such as art or geography, are taught in a language that is not the learners' first language. There are largely two strands of bilingual immersion education these are one-way immersion (including CLIL) and two-way immersion education.

Language learning by doing

Bilingual immersion education is based on the idea that language is primarily a medium of communication, and that language is best learnt by using it to convey meaning. Thus, it is based on the principle of ‘learning by doing’ (Richards and Rogers, 2001:205). 'The aims are two fold,