|1. DEEP IMMERSION A CRUCIAL MODEL FOR THE FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY|
Cosmopolitan language & culture immersion, or Deep Immersion, originates from a method of teaching a second language in which the learners’ second language (L2) is the medium of instruction or, more broadly, of social exchanges. Learners may study school subjects, such as math, science, and social studies, or they may act in an environment prepared for transcultural and translinguistic experiences in their L2 like a World Language Village. Deep immersion may apply to any language. The main purpose is to foster bilingualism, sensitivity to other cultures and an opening to the perception of being a world citizen. Being immersed in another linguistic and cultural environment develops learners'communicative competence or language proficiency in their L2 in addition to their first or native language (L1). Additional goals are the cognitive advantages to bilingualism and increased sensitivity to and understanding of other cultures.
Immersion programs vary from one state or region to another because of historical antecedents, language status and ideology, public opinion orlanguage policy. Immersion programs take on different formats based on: class time spent in L2, participation by native speaking (L1) students, learner age, school subjects taught in L2, and even the L2 itself as an additional and separate subject.
The following pages indicate the potential of Deep Immersion environments for the internationalization of higher education, and how to address a few organizational issues related to the integration of this innovation: