Title: Language Immersion in the USA: Characteristics, Challenges, and Recommendations Related to Teacher Education
Stream: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Mengyao Chen, St. Cloud State University & Michigan State University, United States
Jiahang Li, Michigan State University, United States
Language immersion is a unique form of education as it combines content-based academic instruction, cross-cultural communication, and second language education. During language immersion education, students learn various subjects through the second language medium, thus are highly exposed to the second language and cultural environment. Compared with conventional second language education, language immersion has been proven to effectively improve students’ language proficiency, academic performance, and cognitive development. As a result, the number of K-12 language immersion programs in the United States (U.S.) has been growing rapidly since the 21st century. However, language immersion programs in the U.S. are facing many challenges caused by the lack of specialized teacher education programs designed for language immersion teachers. This study focuses on investigating these challenges in the fields of teaching language and content, maintaining a target language environment, and developing cross-cultural communication skills. Such challenges during both pre-service teacher preparation and in-service teacher professional development are reviewed and discussed. The results lead to various recommendations for improving the effectiveness of language immersion teacher education, whose key aspects include curriculum and instruction, field practicum experience, and inter-school collaboration.
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