Myths such as adults can’t learn a foreign language can be dismissed by innovating teaching methods and especially, short, consistent language practice.
Immersion is when learners are completely surrounded in the target language for a period of time so while it does help to be in the country of the target language (L1), it isn’t impossible to recreate similar conditions to stimulate students’ minds to process in English.
Being part of a small group that communicates exclusively in English supports your brain training. Due to a range of factors, this will stimulate your mind to process in English in order to follow the conversation and not get left behind. This is far more powerful than thinking of a phrase in your native language (L2) and then translating it into the L1.
According to research, scientists found that learning a language this way, rapidly increases brain processing speed and demonstrates the same “full brain patterns” to that of a native speaker.
Receptive Skills - Listening and Reading
Having a native speaker as your group leader for the day provides you an accurate linguistic model for you to appreciate, assimilate and replicate. By listening closely to what he/she says and how, your goal is reproduce the same language exactly as you heard it.
Similarly for reading. You will have reading tasks to complete where you’ll need to summarise key information and report it back, testing your assimilation, interpretation and communication.
Repeating these processes over and over for 4 hours will help ensure you master key pronunciation and apply new vocabulary.
Productive Skills - Speaking and Writing
The entire focus of such a program is to enhance your ability to engage in natural conversation. This means, using natural, coherent language and not just standardised words from a course book.
The teacher will encourage your learning by constantly providing linguistic input that is more natural, such as the use of phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions that native speakers use on a daily basis. Again, by listening, interpreting and reproducing such language, you will expand your knowledge and increase your ability.
One major challenge language learners of all levels have is a lack of confidence. Being unsure of what or how to say something can make you feel embarrassed. This might occur at the beginning of the immersion experience but will quickly pass thanks to the group dynamic and friendly support of colleagues and teacher.
Everyone present has weaknesses which they are trying to improve. The best thing to do is be aware of your own and ask the teacher for support to turn them into strengths. As soon as you overcome one, you’ll want to improve another and so it continues, building your confidence and proficiency as you go.
Using your language skills outside of a classroom and in a real-world context is a formidable training. Communicating with the native speaker without the help of a dictionary, auto-correct or notebook is simply the best kind of training you can receive. Communicating effectively means survival so if you’re unable to think of a word, you should think of something similar or try to describe it because the very fact that you struggle and then find a solution, will improve your all-round cabilities as a language learner.
Finally, it’s also a lot more fun to learn English this way; interacting and engaging with peers rather than just studying grammar rules. By making the experience enjoyable, it will also be more memorable which means more effective learning!
If you would like to put your language skills to the test and participate in the Full Immersion, LIKE our Facebook Page
and stay tuned for this amazing monthly event.
The program begins at 11am and finishes at 15.00. Please find below an outline of the program.
Upon subscription, you will be asked to reserve a 30 minute online consultation via the British Community website in preparation for the program.
Good luck and happy learning!