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|Title:||Key Aspects of the Operation of Immersion Programmes|
|Authors:||Metford, Marie Anne|
|Keywords:||French;French and Francophone Language and Literature;French and Francophone Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>The existing types of French Immersion programmes<sup>1</sup> have been extensively examined, tested and analysed with respect to the linguistic and scholastic progress of the participating students. Such factually based findings would suffice for evaluating results achieved by most educationally innovative programmes. However, French Immersion is a programme that seeks to promote in the student not only a measurable linguistic mastery of the target language, but also the acquisition of knowledge of the second culture and, as well, the development of those attitudes and predispositions which favour acceptance and appreciation of the French language, French-Canadian culture and francophones generally. The goals of the programme are, therefore, not purely academic, but also cultural, psychological, emotional and social.</p> <p>Such a far-reaching enterprise inevitably entails profound changes in the structure of the traditional curriculum and risks influencing the attitudes of the various people involved (teachers, parents, administrators, students ) toward the learning process and may affect their mutual relationships. The programme's impact on these members of the Immersion community has been important, and it has induced great changes in the traditional relationships among these groups. Yet there has been little attempt to analyse these spin-off effects inherent to the programme, to understand them or come to grips with the problems they produce.</p> <p>Issues as fundamental as setting out clear, measurable goals and procedures for the Immersion programme, teacher training, curriculum, working conditions, effects on the Regular-stream (English) component of the school, public relations and accountability have been largely ignored.</p> <p>Having been an Immersion teacher for four years, I am very aware of the need to further this type of investigation of academic and para-academic components of the programme and also to establish new ground rules for interaction in the altered Immersion community. It is for this reason that I decided to analyse the programme's structure, operation and relationship with the community in the light of recent research in such areas as the psychology of language learning, second language pedagogy, organization and public perception of Immersion programmes "in other locations,<sup>2</sup> my own experience and observations and so on. A questionnaire I devised and distributed to educators involved with the Immersion programme provided a wealth of personal reactions, criticisms and suggestions to help deepen and illustrate my findings. In this project, my exposition of different organizational and interactional problems (Chapter II), leads to a series of practical recommendations (Chapter III), offering strategies and detailing resources appropriate for dealing with the major types of problems arising in this particularly demanding and controversial programme.</p> <p>This research project should add significantly to knowledge on hitherto neglected pedagogical aspects of one French Immersion programme and on human interactions within the school itself (teachers, principals, students, Regular-stream and Immersion), and relations between school representatives and the surrounding community (parents, politicians, school boards, public opinion, media, etc.).</p> <p>It should constitute a useful source of information for a critical revision of self-examination of attitudes and behaviours of teachers, administrators and parents involved in the Immersion programme and eventually help to suggest necessary adjustments and changes in the future policies and strategies of those above mentioned both on a pedagogical and interactional level.</p> <p>By providing information and recommendations, my aim is to contribute to a more efficient and harmonious learning and teaching environment for all those involved in an innovative and worthwhile educational enterprise.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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