Linguistic immersion

Learning a language through immersion means that the second language is used daily in class, instead of language lessons. Basically, immersion means that one does not offer language teaching, one teaches in the language. This system is sometimes used a few hours a week to familiarize the children with another language, but it can also be used extensively to reach active language development, in which case a large part of the school time is spent using the second language. This is the kind of immersion we offer, by adding 30% time to the standard timetable in order to fully accommodate for the second language. This allows us to reach our outstanding results: B1 around the age of 10/11, and C1 age 15. 

Immersion works far better than late language teaching. Real bilingualism in a school environment is however only achieved if the following conditions are fullfilled. All teachers must be native language speakers. They have to have experience teaching their tongue to foreigners, because they must identify and correct the most common mistakes appropriately. Active teaching has to be preferred whenever possible in order to encourage natural language production.

At the beginning of immersion schooling, people thought that if the teacher just taught classes in his own tongue, the children would automatically learn the language. This proved to be not entirely correct. Children often developed some typical grammar and vocabulary mistakes. If language acquisition is to be optimal, these problems have to be specifically addressed; the teaching of the second language has to be motivating and fun in order to reach success.