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Archived Content from Conference Held in October 2004 

2004 Immersion Conference Presentation:
Principles and Possibilities in Immersion Pedagogy

Roy Lyster
McGill University

Teachers and researchers alike have observed that, while immersion students develop almost native-like comprehension skills and considerable fluency and confidence in using the immersion language, their use of the immersion language is often characterized by grammatical inaccuracies and lexical imprecision even after many years of immersion education. To address these findings, this talk will revisit the theoretical underpinnings that provided the initial impetus for immersion programs and will outline a re-conceptualization of immersion pedagogy that acknowledges the limitations of comprehension-based teaching approaches and input-based theories of language learning as underlying principles of immersion pedagogy. Cognitive theory will be invoked instead as a better way of conceptualizing both the principles underlying immersion pedagogy and the pedagogical possibilities that teachers can exploit to ensure continued language growth. Specifically, effective immersion pedagogy informed by cognitive theory will be presented as an iterative process, in the context of subject-matter instruction, that provides meaningful opportunities for noticing, language awareness, practice, feedback, and self-repair.


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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414