What Is the Submersion Model: Exploring a Unique Approach to Education

The submersion model refers to an approach in education where language minority students, who’ve limited proficiency in the language of instruction, are placed in a regular classroom where only the majority language, typically English, is spoken. Unlike other instructional models that provide specific programs to support language development, submersion offers no specialized curriculum or differentiated instruction for these students. Instead, they’re expected to adapt and learn solely through immersion in the dominant language.

What Is the Submersion Model of Education?

This model is often used for students who come from a non-English speaking background and are expected to quickly assimilate into the new language. The submersion model doesn’t provide any additional support or bilingual education for these students; instead, they’re expected to pick up English through constant exposure.

However, critics argue that the submersion model can be detrimental to students academic and social development. Without proper language support or instruction in their native language, students may struggle to understand the coursework and feel isolated from their peers. Some experts believe that students in this model may even experience a decline in their academic performance and confidence levels due to the language barrier.

Additionally, the submersion model can lead to cultural and identity loss. Students may feel disconnected from their heritage and struggle to maintain their native language and culture. This loss of identity can have long-term effects on a students sense of self and belonging.

Opponents of the submersion model advocate for alternative approaches that provide more comprehensive language instruction, such as bilingual education or English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. These programs recognize the importance of maintaining students native language while also providing them with the necessary English language skills to succeed academically and socially.

While some argue that this approach accelerates language acquisition, critics highlight it’s potential negative impacts on academic performance, social integration, and cultural identity. The submersion model is an ongoing debate within the field of education, prompting further exploration and development of alternative approaches.

The concept of immersion versus submersion lies in the contrasting notions of visibility and concealment within a liquid medium. While immersion involves placing an object in a liquid, allowing it to remain visible and exposed, submersion includes the action of sending something beneath the liquid’s surface, giving it a hidden quality. Understanding this distinction sheds light on how these terms are applied across various contexts.

What Is the Difference Between Immersion and Submersion?

The difference between immersion and submersion lies in the way they entail the interaction with liquids. The concept of immersion pertains to the act of placing an object or substance into a liquid. When something is immersed, it remains partially or entirely visible and exposed to the surrounding liquid. It implies a more superficial engagement with the liquid, often for purposes such as cleaning, disinfecting, or mixing.

On the other hand, submersion refers to the action of sending an object or individual beneath the surface of a liquid, causing it to be concealed or hidden from view. Submersion suggests a deeper level of engagement as the entity completely disappears from sight. This process can occur intentionally or accidentally and is usually associated with activities like diving, exploring underwater environments, or even drowning.

The former implies a superficial engagement, frequently for the purpose of cleaning or mixing, while the latter denotes a deeper interaction typically associated with activities like diving or exploring underwater environments.

What Is the Difference Between Submerge and Submerse?

When we use “submerge,” we’re referring to the action of intentionally putting something or someone fully under water or any other liquid. This implies that there’s an object being submerged. For example, “She decided to submerge the fruit in water to clean it thoroughly.”. Here, the fruit is the object being submerged.

On the other hand, “submerse” is used to describe the act of going under water or another liquid without specifying what or who’s being submerged. It doesn’t require an object to complete it’s meaning. For instance, “The swimmer took a deep breath and submersed himself in the pool.”. In this case, the swimmer isn’t being submerged onto anything specific; he’s simply immersing himself in the pool.

If there’s a direct object being put under the liquid, “submerge” is the appropriate term.

Examples of Contexts Where the Terms “Submerge” and “Submerse” Are Commonly Used.

The terms “submerge” and “submerse” are commonly used in various situations. For instance, “submerge” is often used when referring to diving underwater or immersing something completely in a liquid. It can also describe being overwhelmed or absorbed by emotions or thoughts. On the other hand, “submerse” is typically used in the context of immersing something or someone in a liquid or a substance. It can also be applied to concepts such as fully engaging oneself in a particular activity or subject.

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What Is Submersion and Immersion?

1). Immersion in cold water can have various physiological effects on the body. When the body enters cold water but the airway remains clear, as is the case with a properly fitting lifejacket, this is considered immersion. The person is still able to breathe and isn’t completely submerged in the water.

On the other hand, submersion occurs when the airway is below the surface of the water, rendering the inability to breathe apparent. Submersion is a dangerous condition that can lead to drowning if not rescued promptly. The longer a person remains submerged, the higher the risk of irreversible damage or death.

5). Understanding the differences between immersion and submersion is essential for water safety. The effects of cold water on the body, such as hypothermia and shock, can occur in both situations, with submersion being more severe and requiring immediate rescue and medical attention. Properly fitting lifejackets and following water safety protocols can greatly reduce the risk of both immersion and submersion accidents.

2) Techniques for Rescuing a Submerged Person

When a person is submerged in water and needs to be rescued, there are several techniques that can be used. One common technique is the reach-and-throw method, where rescuers use long objects or throw ropes to reach the person without entering the water themselves. Another technique is the buoyant aid method, where a buoyant object such as a life ring or rescue tube is thrown to the person to provide them with something to hold onto and keep them afloat. It’s important for rescuers to remember to prioritize their own safety and use proper equipment when attempting a rescue.


Often described as a "sink or swim" method, this model expects these students to adapt and succeed in an environment where their home language is completely disregarded. While the intention may be to encourage rapid English language acquisition, the submersion model fails to recognize the unique linguistic and educational needs of these students. Instead, it perpetuates feelings of isolation, inadequacy, and potential long-term academic disadvantages. Thus, it’s crucial to explore alternative approaches that embrace multiculturalism, linguistic diversity, and provide the necessary support for language minority students to thrive academically and socially.

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