Language immersion
Print page
“Language immersion clears a path through the obstacle course: it’s a bridge that leads us to other cultures, and brings other cultures to us, bringing people and cultures closer together.” Ene Ergma, President of the Estonian Parliament
 
Language immersion is one of the most effective methods of bilingual learning. It requires a systematic approach, uniformity of methodology and a tried and tested theoretical basis – and these are also its greatest strengths.
 
The language immersion programme was run by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People until the year of 2013 and was financed by the Ministry of Education and Research. From 2013 the program is co-ordinated under the Foundation Innove.

Highly motivated and specially trained teachers work with language immersion pupils and students in nursery schools and schools. The teachers are motivated by their creative work, the support of the immersion network, the results and achievements of their students and the opportunity to themselves become trainers and advisors.
 
Former Minister of Education Tõnis Lukas says that the language immersion programme is like the education system in miniature: “It takes in a variety of target groups. That’s one of the bases of its success – students and education officials play as much of a role in development as the teachers do. The methodology and the materials that have been produced have found use and been of benefit in both Estonian and Russian-language schools. And the effectiveness of the programme was reflected in the international PISA survey, which showed excellent results for Estonian students.”
 
Trainers from the language immersion programme are in high demand on national training courses, where they showcase the principles, methodology and international practice of the programme as experienced in Canada, Finland, Spain, Wales and elsewhere.
 

Support at home is very important to children in the immersion programme. An association of parents of language immersion pupils was founded in 2004 in which experienced parents work with schools and nursery schools and offer their support to the parents of children who have recently joined the programme. The association issues the quarterly newsletter Roditelskaja Gazeta.

 

For further information please visit the language immersion program home page.