Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Robert Lafayette


In Korea, efforts to teach a non-native language, such as English, to Korean students usually result in native speakers acquiring limited language abilities. As a result, the teaching of English has little effect upon making native speakers fluent in a non-native language. Many foreign language instructors in Korea attempt to find new teaching methods to improve the performance of students in foreign language proficiency. Among the various innovative approaches of the 20th century, research has shown that the immersion approach may be one of the most effective means. Thus this dissertation introduces the innovative immersion teaching methods for Korean school systems. This dissertation presents the results of research conducted at Kyoungil Elementary School in Ansan City in South Korea, after 4 months of implementing the immersion program (September 6, 1999 through January 10, 2000). At the fourth-grade level 80 students took part in the research. The researcher measured the results of pre- and post-tests on reading proficiency in English. In their language achievement, all students in the immersion class as well as the non-immersion class made gains in English reading proficiency. Immersion students educated in the English-dominant class received slightly higher gains in the language reading achievement test than non-immersion peers. On every sub-test, the immersion and non-immersion student reading standardized scores were raised in three (Vocabulary, Reading for Information, Mechanics and Usage) of four domains, but not in one segment (Fluency). The immersion students scored higher than the non-immersion children, with moderately higher scores in Vocabulary and Reading for Information. The non-immersion students got higher gains in Mechanics and Usage sub-test than their English-dominant peers. In reading competency levels, they remained in the "Non-Reader" category after the 4 month research period. However, both immersion and non-immersion children scored much higher in post-tests than in pre-tests.