Evaluation of Early Partial Immersion

Evaluation of Early Partial Immersion in French at Walker Road Primary School, Aberdeen


Professor R. M. Johnstone


From SEED core grant to Scottish CILT




This is the UK's first initiative in early partial immersion in a foreign language. From Primary 1 onwards, children receive some of their education through the medium of French, and some through the medium of English. This form of early bilingual education contrasts with the more usual approach to teaching modern languages in the primary school where pupils receive a relatively small amount of foreign language from Primary 6 onwards or sometimes earlier.

Compared with this approach, EPPI has two key advantages. Children have more time for learning and using French, as they start earlier and learn through French. The experience is more intense, because they are challenged not only to learn French but also to use it to acquire knowledge and skills in different areas of the curriculum. An independent evaluation, conducted by Professor Richard Johnstone and Robert McKinstry, of the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (Scottish CILT) of the Stirling Institute of Education, concluded that EPPI at Walker Road Primary School has been an outstanding success. In the era of Curriculum for Excellence, the initiative has prepared pupils very well for true international citizenship, not only through their outstanding proficiency in another major language but also in their confidence and international outlook.



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