What Is Mainstreaming or Submersion: Understanding the Differences

Mainstreaming or submersion education refers to a type of program where minority language pupils are integrated into mainstream schools and taught exclusively in the language of the majority, disregarding their native language. This approach aims to assimilate these students within the larger education system, without placing emphasis on preserving their cultural and linguistic heritage. The concept of education itself is multifaceted, encompassing the transmission of knowledge, skills, and character development. However, there are ongoing debates regarding the goals and purpose of education, including whether it should focus on improving the student or simply imparting information.

What Is the Difference Between Immersion and Submersion?

The distinction between immersion and submersion lies in the visibility and exposure of an object within a liquid. When we talk about immersion, we’re referring to the act of placing something in a liquid. It implies that the object is partially surrounded by the liquid, but it remains visible and exposed to the outside environment. For example, when immersing a plants roots in water, they’re submerged but still above the surface.

On the other hand, submersion involves sending something under the surface of a liquid. It conveys the idea that the object is fully concealed or hidden within the liquid, cutting off it’s visibility from the outside world. A submarine plunging below the oceans surface is a perfect example of submersion, as it’s fully submerged and hidden underwater.

The primary distinction between these terms lies in the degree of visibility and exposure.

For instance, in cooking, we may immerse a piece of meat in a marinade, allowing it to absorb the flavors while still being visible.

The difference lies in the level of exposure and visibility of the immersed or submerged object.

While the terms “submerged” and “immersed” are often used interchangeably, they carry distinct connotations. “Submerged” typically implies a voluntary act, where an organism or object willingly dips below the surface. Conversely, “immersed” suggests the involvement of an external force that deliberately places something underwater. This differentiation can be observed in various scenarios, such as a crocodile submerging to approach it’s prey versus a child being immersed in water during a baptism ceremony.

What Is the Difference Between Immersed and Submerge?

The distinction between being immersed and being submerged lies in the subtlety of the actions at play and the role of external forces. While both terms describe an object or person being placed underwater, there’s a nuanced difference in the intention and agency involved. Submerging typically suggests a voluntary action undertaken by the subject itself. For instance, imagine a crocodile submerged beneath the water surface to stealthily approach it’s prey. In this scenario, the crocodile acts on it’s own accord, choosing to submerge itself. Thus, submerging indicates a deliberate decision made independently.

On the other hand, immersion conveys a sense of an external force acting upon an object or individual to place them underwater. This external force could be a person, an apparatus, or a ceremonial rite. To illustrate, consider a baptism ceremony where a child is immersed in water. Here, the child doesn’t initiate the action of immersion; rather, another person or a religious authority is responsible for lowering the child into the water. Immersion implies that there’s an outside agency or influence involved in submerging the object or individual.

It implies being deeply absorbed or engrossed in an experience or environment. For instance, if someone is immersed in a captivating book, it suggests their intense involvement and dedication to the text. This usage extends beyond the literal act of being submerged in water and encompasses a metaphorical sense of total immersion.

Both terms carry distinct implications regarding the level of involvement and agency in the act of being submerged.


While this method aims to promote integration and equal opportunities, it raises concerns about the preservation of cultural diversity and the potential loss of native languages. The debate surrounding mainstreaming/submersion education highlights the complex nature of education and the various perspectives on how best to achieve educational objectives while considering the unique needs and identities of students.

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