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In immersion programmes learners are fully immersed in the target language for a certain period of time, both in and outside the class. It is sometimes compared to submersion, where individual learners are placed in classes where everybody else speaks the same language. There are varying degrees of immersion, including full, partial and bilingual immersion, which involves two groups of students learning each other's languages.
Immersion programmes have been a popular way to teach French in Canada for many years.
In the classroom
Teachers can simulate an immersion environment by establishing an ‘English-only' area in their institutions and by insisting on all communication with them being in English. This gives learners the opportunity to develop a range of relevant skills in a more spontaneous, authentic - and demanding - context than the class.