Immersion Learning Techniques You Can Use at Home
Immersion learning is often touted as one of the most effective ways to learn a foreign language because it forces you to employ your language skills to communicate with those around you.
However, what if you could use those same immersion techniques without needing to up sticks and move to another country? In this article, we’ll be looking at three effective ways in which you can employ immersion learning techniques without moving abroad.
What Exactly Is Immersive Language Learning?
At its most basic level, immersive language learning requires you to put yourself in a situation where there is no option other than to use your second language in order to communicate.
Since interaction with others is a vital part of our day to day lives, the theory is that, by making the use of a second language mandatory to communication, it cements it into your brain faster than learning it in a more academic context.
Immersive language learning is also tied to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, which suggests that anyone can become an expert in anything with 10,000-hours of practice.
Most of us spend our entire day with a powerful smartphone or tablet computer on our person, so why not use that to keep you immersed in your second language?
Try downloading a film or podcast in the language you are trying to learn and have it playing through your headphones during your free time. Not only will this enable you to pick out the words you understand and slowly move towards understanding more and more of what is being said, but it will also accelerate your understanding of pronunciation and accent.
Seek Out Your Second Language
Even if you don’t have the option to move to another country to truly immerse yourself in a language other than English, there is a good chance that the language you are learning is being spoken somewhere near your home.
Obviously, if you are learning Spanish in the US, then finding a native speaker isn’t going to be hard, but given that the US is a cultural melting pot, the same applies to all but the most esoteric of languages.
Once you’ve found a community of people who speak the language you are trying to learn, seek them out and talk to them. Most people are overjoyed to find someone trying to learn their native language and any amount of immersion will add to your learning ability, even if it is just going out of your way to visit a Greek deli to practice your new vocabulary.
Take the No-English Pledge
Pioneered by Middlebury College in Vermont, whose language program has been noted for its success, the No-English pledge means setting aside a section of the day where you will only use the language you are planning to learn.
The key to the No-English pledge is internalizing it and learning to think in your second language. This isn’t easy to start off with and is a skill learned over time, but the beauty of the No-English pledge is that it internalizes your immersion, meaning you can immerse yourself in your second language without even needing to leave the house.
Experienced, Efficient And Free For Students
The benefits of taking an ESL course are clear. By improving your English skills you gain better access to education, a better earning potential, a better social life, and even better results from healthcare. We here at Northwest Community College are committed to enhancing our student’s lives, which is why we are proud to offer our ESL courses free of charge to our students and to extend that offer to their families.
Our seasoned language teachers are experienced in working with international students from all over the world and are there to help you get the most from your classes. To help your lessons fit in with your work and home life we also offer day and weekend classes. If you are interested in taking advantage of this excellent opportunity then call one of our ESL councilors today on (702) 403-1592.
Fernando Herbert, B.A.
Spanish Language Consultant