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LEARNING A LENGUAGE AND BILINGUALISMO

The term linguistic immersion was born in the 60s in the 20th century in Canada. In the first
place, a definition of linguistic immersion must be established. Linguistic immersion is the
program of teaching a second language, in which some of the subjects of the school curriculum
are studied in a language that is not the students´mother tongue. The objective of the
language immersion program is for students to be competent in both languages, that is, to be
bilingual. Language immersion is a good idea in the society where we live, but it has some
disadvantages. These disadvantages rely on the difficulty to find qualified teachers to teach the
second language, in addition to the coordination between these professionals as well as the
changes that must occur in the school, so that all teachers can walk in the same direction.

On the other hand we must differentiate between bilingualism and a bilingual person.
Bilingual is a person who speaks two languages. On the other hand, bilingualism refers to the
ability of the subject to communicate independently and alternately in both languages. In this
way, I emphasize that it is important not only the method but also the moment in which the
second language is taught. The first moment is once the student has already acquired their
mother tongue, they start to introduce the second language. The other model is to combine
both the mother tongue and the second language.

Once the definitions of linguistic immersion and bilingualism have been established, I will set
the strategies that are being carried out in other countries. We should point out that at the
beginning the student who starts learning a new language will be more cut off for fear of
making mistakes. This is not always like this, but at the beginning what students do is to
observe others and listen to the sounds of the new language to avoid so many mistakes.

The method is that the preschool teachers ask questions and they help them finish the
answers or ask the questions and they have to answer. The second strategy he mentions is
parallel speech and private speech. Parallel speech consists of the teacher sitting next to the
student and narrating what the student is doing, while private speech is that the teacher gives
an order or instructions. On the other hand, the third strategy is to present the student with
the activity both in English and in their mother tongue. This strategy is good because there
may be similarities in some words in both languages but in some cases they are written the
same but have different meanings, so the teacher must explain the new meaning.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance that the family has when it comes to the
acquisition of the second language, because if they have acquired the first language, the
students will learn the second language more easily. This is achieved when parents read
stories, rhymes and words that fit better.

Extrapolating to Extremadura we can affirm that we are very far from getting our students to
be bilingual, because there are several problems. Among these problems we emphasize the
formation of the teachers, since they have knowledge about grammar and they understand
the language but in reality they do not know very well the culture and the reality of the
language that they are transmitting. In addition, the administration is accepting bilingual
schools without having trained personnel to teach these classes.

On the other hand we can´t say that students who receive two subjects in English will someday
become bilingual since they will only have knowledge about a subject.