Resources for Struggling Immersion Learners

Program Suitability and Learner Disability

Chapter 1

  • For whom might immersion not be appropriate?
  • For whom might immersion be appropriate?
  • Who is likely to struggle and stay in the immersion program?
  • Who is likely to struggle and leave the immersion program?

Chapter 2

  • How do you differentiate between typical delays experienced by children who are learning through a second language and a language and/or learning disability?

Chapter 3

  • In an immersion program, how much of a reading lag still falls into the normal range when learners are acquiring initial literacy?
  • What initial literacy challenges should constitute a cause for concern?

Chapter 4

  • What kind of assessments can be given to language immersion students who are not progressing in the target language and may not be developing cognitively at an appropriate rate, or who are not yet reading and writing?
  • What languages should be used to assess an immersion learner?

Best Practice at the Classroom- and Program-Level

Chapter 5

  • As we work to support immersion teachers with struggling learners, what research-based adaptations to instruction are known to be effective with these students?
  • Which strategies are most likely to be implemented by teachers?

Chapter 6

  • Should interventions be provided in immersion students’ first language, second language, or in both?
  • If a particular language is recommended, which language should one use, when and why?

Chapter 7

  • In your program, are there any services available for struggling students in the early primary grades?
  • If so, what are they and how do students qualify for these services?
  • If no, does this impact your program’s pre-referral process in any way?

Chapter 8

  • When it comes to communicating with immersion parents . . .
  • How and when does the teacher raise the issue of transferring out with a parent?
  • How and when does the teacher encourage a parent to keep their child in the immersion program?
  • What tools can immersion educators give or recommend to parents to help their struggling, learning disabled, and/or language and learning disabled immersion student at home?

Chapter 9

  • Is it appropriate to pre-assess potential students’ readiness to enter an immersion program?
  • If so, how might this be carried out and by whom?


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