Filosofinen tiedekunta, 2013
Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Studies in Communication and Administration
Research on bilingualism and immersion has shown that there are advantages involved in learning languages through immersion. However, these are findings from studies focusing on the outcomes of immersion. This thesis aims at determining how the participants in immersion, the teachers, the children and the parents, view the immersion experience as a whole and the benefits of such immersion.
Immersion schools have spread from Canada, where they were first founded, till Europe and Asia. This thesis focuses on the Smallside of the English Kindergarten of Kokkola (EKK), which is providing English language education to young children aged from 5 to 7. This study uses qualitative data. Such data are collected through interviews, surveys and ethnographic research from the teachers, children and parents involved in the EKK. The data is analysed with grounded theory.
The analysis shows how participants experience and value immersion, and where they perceive advantages of immersion, such as the children developing higher self-esteem and better intercultural skills.
immersion school, kindergarten, immersion experience, intercultural awareness