An American foreign language immersion program, how to

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This publication is the fifty-ninth in the CAL-ERIC/CLL Series on Languages and Linguistics. The material in this publication was prepared pursuant to a contract with the National Institute of Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Contractors undertaking such projects under Government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their judgment in professional and technical matters. Prior to publication, the manuscript was submitted to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for critical review and determination of professional competence. This publication has met such standards. Points of view or opinions, however, do not necessarily represent the official view or opinions of either the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages or the National Institute of Education. ABSTRACT  An immersion program in a public elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, uses French as the medium of instruction in all academic subjects. The program is based on the theory that language is learned best when there is a need to understand and communicate in that language. All students are eligible for enrollment in the multi-age classes. The Montgomery County curriculum is followed using French materials. Standardized test results show the immersion students to be comparable in ability and achievement to their peers in English-speaking American classes and in French immersion classes in Canada. Parents, other adults, and high school students work in the classroom to assist the teachers and to learn French. The program’s only added cost to the school system is for foreign language materials.