Learning a new language provides a range of benefits, no matter your age, hence the increasing amount of people learning a foreign language. Language immersion programs are also on the rise because it’s one of the best ways to learn a new language. It is claimed that immersion can ease the learning experience.
What are the benefits of language immersion?
First, it’s pleasurable.
It is always good to go to the places where the foreign language you’re studying is spoken. You get to experience the people’s way of life and interact directly with native speakers.
You practice the language first-hand.
The best way to learn a language is by being surrounded by it and having to use it constantly to communicate with others.
You have a better grasp of the language.
Depending on your chosen language, you can pick the country you want to visit depending on your preference. For example, if you want to learn and or practice Spanish you can decide if you are interested in Castilian Spanish or Spanish speaking countries in the Americas like Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina.
You learn about the culture
Contrarily to learning in a classroom environment, and having to memorise words and learn grammar, you can submerge yourself in the culture of the country by interacting with the natives in everyday situations.
During immersion you submerge yourself in the culture.
You get used to different accents
You meet different people; you get used to everyone’s accents while you’re learning about the diverse ways to use the language(slang).
You learn about the host country practicalities.
You learn about the people’s sense of humour. This reflects their culture. It is only then that you can call yourself bilingual.
When you understand the humour of your host country you can call yourself bilingual.
However, to make the most of your time in your host country, it is highly recommended that you attend language lessons before and after your immersion.
Reasons to take language lessons
It boosts your confidence.
If you arrive to the country with no or little knowledge of the language you will have a hard time trying to communicate. You will by no means be a confident speaker and you will put yourself at a disadvantage. It will be impossible for you to make the most of your time spent in the immersive environment.
Start practising with a native language teacher either in person or online. Arrange conversations in topics that are relevant to you, and that will be helpful when in the country.
You get familiar to the culture.
It reduces enormously the culture shock because you have learned the basics about the language and the culture, so you are aware of what to expect. You are able, then, to focus more on the language learning aspects of your trip.
With your teacher you can explore the climate, food preferences and ways of life of the host country; this will diminish considerably disorientation and feelings of inadequacy.
You build up your learning.
You will be able to learn more during your immersion because you will have a solid foundation to build your knowledge upon. You will already understand the structure of the language, and you will be familiar with phrases and vocabulary. During your stay in the host country you will have a more in-depth learning experience.
Your language teacher can create bespoke lessons for you to practice.
You improve your language knowledge.
Once more confident in knowing the basics of the language and communicating, it is necessary to improve your accuracy. Hence the need to carry on practising when the immersion period is over. You can do so with your language teacher who can cater for your needs and prepare bespoke lessons for you to practice specific areas that require improvement.
Language immersion is a great way to learn, although it is not the only effective one. However, it is without a doubt, an enjoyable way to make your dream of fluency a reality.