Immersion at the university level: models, challenges and prospects

February 9 and 10, 2012

Activity Details

In celebration of the fifth anniversary of French Immersion Studies, the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa  is organizing an international forum featuring scholars from North America and Europe on February 9 and 10, 2012, entitled "Immersion at the university level: models, challenges and prospects".

The forum will take several forms, including plenaries, papers, and round tables to address the entire spectrum of post-secondary immersion: different languages, different academic levels, different stakeholders. There will be four sessions:

  1. Models for immersion
  2. Stakeholders in the French Immersion Studies at the University of Ottawa
  3. Issues and research in immersion
  4. Prospects

Forum Coordinators: Alysse Weinberg et Hélène Knorr


Thursday, February 9, 2012
112 Tabaret Hall
550 Cumberland St.

4 to 4:30 p.m.


4:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Words of Welcome (B)

  • Marc Gobeil, Director of French Immersion Studies
  • Richard Clément, Director of OLBI and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts

4:45 to 5:45 p.m.

Keynote Speaker (B)

  • Aline Gohard Radenkovic, University of Fribourg (Switzerland) : "Conditions nécessaires à la réussite de l’immersion : radiographie de l'immersion, de l’enseignement supérieur au programme Bilingue Plus à l'Université  de Fribourg, Suisse".

5:45 to 7:30 p.m.


Friday, February 10, 2012
12102 Desmarais Hall
55 Laurier East

8:30 to 8:45 a.m.


8:45 to 9 a.m.

Words of Welcome (B)

  • Hélène Knoerr, OLBI
  • Alysse Weinberg, OLBI

9 to 10:45 a.m.

Session I  - Immersion Models

  • Mari Wesche (ILOB): "Conditions for successful university immersion: early lessons" (E)
  • Françoise Mougeon (York University): "L’apprentissage du français L2 par l’expérience et par l’intégration du contenu à la langue: en route vers le changement à Glendon" (B)
  • Eva Lemaire (Faculté  St Jean, University of Alberta): "Entre inclusion et différentiation : comment développer les compétences en français des étudiants de la francophonie plurielle albertaine ?" (B)
  • Claire Trépanier (Simon Fraser University) : "Le French Cohort Program : au service des étudiants, de la recherche, de la communauté" (B)
  • Rebbecca Kaplan (Georgetown College, USA) : "The Immersión en Español program at Georgetown College"
  • Anne Räsänen (University Jyväskylä, Finlande) : "Integrating content and FL learning across a Master’s  Programme: Immersion or CLIL?" (E)

10:45 to 11 a.m.


11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Session II – Round Table: Stakeholders in French Immersion Studies at the University of Ottawa

  • Student experience
  • Administration: Marc Gobeil
  • Professer Support: Marie-Claude Dansereau
  • Student Evaluation: Amelia Hope
  • Language Professors and Discipline Professors: Hélène Knoerr
  • Discipline Professer: Marc Brosseau
  • Moderator: Alysse Weinberg

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.


1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

Session III – Issues and Research

  • Donna Brinton (University of California, Los Angeles USA): "The National Flagship Language Initiative" (E)
  • Anne Räsänen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland): "European Approaches to Higher education CLIL" (E)
  • Sylvie Lamoureux (University of Ottawa, OLBI): "Expérience étudiante dans le régime d’immersion en français" (B)
  • Jérémie Séror (University of Ottawa, OLBI): "Prendre son courage à deux langues : Personal insights on a postsecondary immersion experience" (B)
  • Modératrice: Marie-Josée Hamel (University of Ottawa, OLBI)

2:45 to 3:30 p.m.

Session IV – Perspectives (B)

  • Synthesis: Aline Gohard Radenkovic
  • Closing Speaker: Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages: "The Potential for Immersion in Canada."

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Working Group

Note : B = bilingue/ bilingual       F = Français         E = English



OLBI and French Immersion Studies were delighted with the success of the forum.

This activity brought together immersion stakeholders, from Canada and around the world, and helped build new networks where knowledge and expertise can be shared. We hope to continue working with these partners to pursue the development of the immersion model at the university level.

A collection of the participants' essays will be published in an upcoming edition of the OLBI Working Papers.

Speakers' Presentations

All presentations are in PDF Format.

immersion retro

Aline Gohard-Radenkovic, Université de Fribourg, Suisse
Which conditions for the success of the "immersion"? Radiography of the "immersion configurations" from the Tertiary Level to the Program "Bilingue Plus" at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland

immersion retro

Françoise Mongeon, Directrice intérimaire, Centre for Studies in French, Glendon College
Content and Language Integrated Learning and Experiential Learning in FSL

immersion retro

Anne Räsänen, University of Jyväskylä Language Centre, Finland
European Approaches to Higher Education CLIL(Content and Language Integrated Learning)

immersion retro

Anne Räsänen, University of Jyväskylä Language Centre, Finland
Integrating Content and FL Learning Across a Master's Programme: Immersion or CLIL?

immersion retro

Eva Lemaire, University of Alberta
Between Inclusion and Differenciation: How to foster students’ skills in French within the frame of a heterogenous Albertan francophony?

immersion retro

Claire Trépanier, Director, Simon Fraser University
Le French Cohort Program : au service des étudiants, de la recherche, de la communauté 

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