26 Oct Being an Immersion Student
Language immersion is known as intensive exposure to a second language, living with the locals or traveling to a destination where the student speaks it on a regular basis, in order to learn it more quickly and achieve bilingualism.
It is known as a process typical of language stays, either in summer camps or studying abroad in a Spanish immersion course.
If you want to become more proficient and fluent to improve your skills, we recommend that you take the plunge and travel to Spanish-speaking countries to experience the language. Check out this post and find out if you are ready to go abroad to study Spanish.
There are different types of immersion programs:
School Immersion Program
Students attend regular school classes and in the afternoons they live with their new schoolmates.
The students do not participate in a program of activities, but take part in the normal day to day activities of a Spanish school, so the students must follow the school rules and do the homework that each teacher orders.
This program is an excellent opportunity not only to improve your Spanish level but also to make new friends. The advantages of this program are:
- Improve your Spanish in a natural way.
- You will prepare yourself for a better future and have more opportunities.
- You will travel and get to know a new country and culture.
- You will mature as a person.
- You will meet many people and make new friends.
- You will validate your course.
Spanish immersion program with native families
Students stay with a carefully selected host family.
The host family is one of the most important aspects of the program since the student will become a member of the family, sharing time with the children of similar age, with whom they often become friends.
The host family is certified to work with minors.
In the morning the students have private or group Spanish classes and in the afternoon activities such as excursions, sports, guided visits to museums, city center, emblematic places.
The family will treat the student as one of the family.
What is a Spanish language immersion experience?
It is a way to increase the knowledge of any language other than the native one. It consists of intensive Spanish courses that combine teaching with living with local families. They can range from 1 week to one year.
During their stay, students receive classes with native teachers and, in addition, by living with local people, they will get to know the culture first hand and, most importantly, they will work on their oral expression.
In the various language immersion programs, students will enjoy a variety of group activities, all aimed at improving or perfecting their speaking skills.
Reasons for a language immersion program
It is the most recommended training for real assimilation of a foreign language.
For nearly half a century, research on language immersion education has heralded benefits such as academic achievement, language and literacy development in two or more languages, and cognitive skills.
This research also exposes some of the challenges that accompany the immersion model, with its agenda of multiple levels of language, literacy, and cross-cultural skill development during learning .
In other words, whether learning through alphabetic languages (Spanish, Hawaiian, French, etc.) or character-based languages (Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese), Spanish proficient students will keep pace academically with their peers in Spanish-medium programs.
It is important to recognize that early studies conducted in one-way total immersion programs, where the L2 is introduced as early as age 6, show evidence of a temporary delay in specific Spanish language skills such as oral expression, listening comprehension, which should be done through activities related to music, art, sports and not just grammar, the progress is more.
At what ages is it advisable to study or do an immersion in a foreign language?
Is it true that an adult learns a new language less than a child?
In reality, a child can learn more in a shorter time according to his communicative needs, that is, until he is about 8 years old, these needs are very simple compared to those of an adult, because they are immediate.
While those of an adult are to express according to their concerns, give arguments, talk about the past, future.
So, if we talk about communicative competence as the ability to express, read, write, speak, interpret, an adult has an advantage over a small child.
An adult can reach an advanced level of oral and written communication in a foreign language in just one year if he or she studies the language intensively for 8-10 hours a day or experiences total immersion in another country to learn a language.
In one year you learn a lot, much more than a child. In this sense, an adult is much faster than a child. The problem is that we don’t usually have the opportunity to just study a language all day long as an adult, except in immersion contexts.