LA 5.2: Worksheet - Program Model Summary 6


Often called “sink or swim,” submersion programs often appear in schools with only “good faith” efforts but no program in place. Students are placed in “mainstream” or regular education classes through most of the school day. Sometimes bilingual aids are used in one-on-one tutorials.

Student Population

Relationship to School

Exposure to English Speakers

Students with L1 are placed in regular classrooms. They have lots of exposure to English speakers but there may be no interaction. This exposure may in fact hinder L2 learning because, as Krashen points out, language learning occurs when language messages are understood. In fact, students may learn to ignore L2 messages.

Teacher Population

This requires that regular teachers with neither bilingual skills nor ESL skills meet the content and language development needs of these populations in the classroom. Sometimes bilingual aids are added.


Instructional Costs

The resource costs are initially low, but lack of support may mean high costs in terms of lack of language progress and school failure.

Program Length

There is no length and usually students are not even identified.

Linguistic Emphasis

(L1=primary language, L2=English)

Theories of Language Learning

Native Language Support

This is a “no program” model, based on the hypothesis that language minority students will learn L2 simply through exposure to it, affords neither L1 nor L2 language support. The theory behind this program is naïve and has no research support with much evidence that the approach does not work. It utterly disregards the role of L1 in L2 acquisition.

Academic Emphasis

Content and Language

This may be actually an academic de-emphasis since students have no support in accessing the curriculum.

Sociocultural Emphasis

C1=1st Culture

C2=2nd Culture

Totally disregards the C1 and L1 of the child and completely supports assimilation models.

Cognitive Emphasis

This program may be detrimental since neither social nor academic language development is supported.

% of Achievement Gap Closed by End of Schooling

(based on data-analytic research)

Students under this model are unlikely to graduate and, except in cases of intense teacher effort, strong family background, and children with strong intellectual motivation and capacity, none of the achievement gap will be closed.