Wondering how you’re going to use your English in the real
world? Learning English is more about knowing how to reach people’s heart and
making them understand your reasoning than just reviewing vocabulary and
grammar. You need to know how to actually use the language, and to know how
others use it. Luckily, there’s a way to learn English that
will help you with both of these things: ‘immersion’.
As kids we were all
told that English is a must-learn language and that the whole world knows it.
Those who knew English used to show off their communication skills thereby
considering themselves as worthy competitors. Knowing English meant everything.
Luckily our school was of English medium and we had to learn it anyways.
Eventually it became something very common and a part of my life.
This article reviews in
detail about the benefits of immersion technique and how it has gained momentum
in the past ten years. We will also look into some of the Immersion programs
offered in universities and other organisations and how they help in
utilizing the principles of immersion to make the entire learning process fun
and much more easier.
Immersion technique, Bilingualism,
Immersion programs, Language development, Immersion school benefits, Dual
The Immersion Method: It is a more natural way of learning a
language and also one of the efficient way of learning a second language i.e; a
language other than one’s mother tongue or a foreign language. Not only does it
help you learn real-world language skills but also makes learning fun! It also
makes learning easier, because you can learn the language in a way that relates
to your own life and experiences. This makes the language feel more relevant
and provides more motivation to learn.
For example, if you
want to use your English in business ideals, maybe you would prefer to learn
from real business audio rather than taking an English course. If you’re
getting bored learning random food vocabulary, maybe you would rather learn
that vocabulary from an English-language television program about cooking. Or
maybe you would just like to converse about different topics with a tutor in
English, instead of sitting inside a classroom all day. No matter what your English-learning
goals are, immersion can help you to achieve them.
Immersion means being involved in depth or submerged
by something. In this case the language being learnt is constantly used in a
daily basis alongside the individual’s first language. This occurs
when a learner, willingly or unwillingly, finds himself
in a new environment and must quickly adapt in order to
survive. One simple example is of an individual who is put into a new surrounding
with absolutely no idea about the culture or the language. This reminds me of a
student from Bihar who showed up in my Tamil (second language) class knowing nothing
about the language. It was surprising to see that in a few short weeks she was
develops more easily, the earlier the second language is introduced. A child’s
brain is in sync to the language acquisition and development. It is capable of installing,
processing, analysing and differentiating the various sounds, rhythms and
tunes. This makes learning easier and kids are able to analyse a second
language in barely identical method as they learnt their first.
One way of looking at immersion is that it’s a way of joining the culture
of the language that you’re learning. In the case of English, you may use
immersion by watching English movies,
reading English-language books and
magazines and even eating food
from English-speaking countries. This might help give you exposure
(access and experience) beyond textbook exercises.
learning foreign languages is a necessity for everyone, particularly for our youth who will eventually be working
in the other communities. The standard method of language learning does not
give very satisfying results. Therefore, we should envision immersion as
another way as it not only makes us perceive the entire concept thoroughly but
its results are also long-lasting.
acquisition of a foreign language depends on the subsequent three factors:
intensity of contact – the language in means of communication,
interaction, and part of socialisation and whether or not it covers all
potential aspects of life.The
length of teaching – this must to be guaranteed over an extended
amount of time (6-7 years). Mode
method has proved to be the most successful in all three areas.
Common questions regarding Immersion:
1) Do I need to go anywhere?
language learner will tell you that they learn best when they use the language
day and night. But is it really necessary for you to travel to another area if
you want to learn through immersion? Well according to me, travelling can
undoubtedly facilitate, but no, you needn’t go anywhere. You can use immersion
without ever leaving your native land. The web has made it possible for us to
experience the world around us without leaving our desks. For example, if you
have access to YouTube, you can search for movies, television shows and
commercials from countries all over the world. It’s not necessary to leave your
home for immersion, but if you do have a chance to travel to an
English-speaking country, don’t pass it up. Nothing helps you learn more than
being around native English speakers.
2) Does it cost money?
It doesn’t have
to. If you already have internet access, you don’t have to pay anything extra
to watch some English-speaking programs. You can even make videos your main way
of learning by using FluentU. FluentU is a monthly subscription site which provides language immersion through native videos. It takes
real-world videos like music videos, film trailers, advertisements, chats,
media interactions and inspiring talks and turns them into personalized
language learning lessons.
on the immersion programs in India:
India the official languages are Hindi and English. The British colony legacy
had led to English being the primary language for government, business, trade
and education. According to the International
Journal of Indian Psychology, although Hindi is taught as a primary
language in North India, it is slowly being displaced by English. In the
Southern states, the medium of instruction in schools is both the state
language and English, with Hindi taking on the third language status. Again in
the south, English immersion models in schools have been brought into effect.
Whereas most of the urban private schools in the country offer an English
immersion program, the government schools offer native language instruction.
The different types of formal
immersion programs offered around the world:
Certain programs, like from the Boston
Language Institute, allow you to choose between group immersion or private
immersion. Other programs, like Cornell University’s Summer College program,
offer college credit.
Many other formal immersion programs
also embody a homestay option, which gives you a chance to live with an
English-speaking family and experience the culture.
ESL students are expected to learn various
subjects through immersion. Immigrant students who attend native colleges find
themselves in an immersion situation; for instance, the refugee children from
Bosnia attending German schools, or Puerto Ricans in American schools.
SUPPORT AND COST NEEDED:
A. Ways of practising immersion on
Take cultural field trips:
Look for English restaurants, stores and
clubs near your area. If you reside in a country where English is not the
dominant language, rummage around for tourist areas. English speakers love to
travel, and many countries have dedicated areas where they meet. Restaurants
and stores in these areas will have menus which offer a variety of cuisines to
make travellers more comfortable. Several staffs in these restaurants and
stores will know English. Visit these
locations and practice ordering and asking about other products in English.
In addition, some organizations, such as
churches, may hold some conferences and services in English if there is a huge
gathering of English speakers in the area.
Plan immersion days:
immersion day goes one step beyond the cultural field trip. It is especially a
good choice if there are not many major English-speaking areas in your
locality. Decide ahead of time that you’ll only listen to and speak in English
for one full day. It will be uncomfortable, however at the end of the day,
you’ll be happy that you accepted the challenge.
an online tutor for conversation practice:
the purposes of immersion, you need to find
a tutor who will communicate with you in English most of the time. Italki and many other online sites will
give you an advanced search option to find the right tutor. You can select a
tutor among many who can teach the language you’re learning, in this case
English. Since online tutoring is done through platforms like Skype, you can have notes in front of
you to help you speak during your practise sessions. The best thing about
online tutors is that they often charge very little for the time they
communicate with you in English.
Statistical analysis of the time taken by each method in reaching fluency of a
Spend some time Abroad :
Many language learners enjoy Couchsurfing.
You can meet people and stay anywhere in the world for little to no cost.
You’ll make new friends and learn a great deal about English communication
an Immersion Class:
The best way
to immerse yourself is to look for a course in your area that’s 100% in
English. There has been an increase in the number of immersion programs offered
by institutions, certain organisations and NGOs in the past few years. If u
come across any in your society, then I gladly suggest you to go ahead with it.
You will learn better when you are exposed to a surrounding were there are
others who have the same purpose like you. You may even make some
new English-speaking friends at the same time.
Fig 2: Statistical growth in the number of Immersion programs
offered by institutions over the past four decades.
B. Conducting an immersion program in
school or other institutions:
There are a variety of ways in which immersion
programs can be enacted. Some are called full immersion, in which the teacher
speaks only in English and the student’s native language is not considered. The
other approach is called the sink-or-swim approach is often discouraging and
frustrating to the children. Therefore what is preferred is a partial immersion
program, which acknowledges the child’s home language and at the same time
gives emphasis to English.
Immersion teachers should
clearly understand the content which needs to be taught at every grade level.
They should systematically weave together familiar language with new words and
phrases, so that students continually develop their language proficiency. In
this way, language acquisition in an immersion program represents the natural
learning curve for a first language, in which a child is is taught to frame
sentences from unfamiliar words and letters.
While immersion takes place in a
school or daycare environment, the role of home is just as important. Students
who concentrate only on English and don’t give equal importance to their native
language are later unable to keep up with their friends. Majority of a child’s vocabulary
is discovered at home. If a child’s home language is ignored, once they reach
kindergarten-level English proficiency, their vocabulary will not expand in
either language. That’s why it’s necessary to continue teaching the child’s
native language as well as English, be that at home or in special classes taken
The role of parents:
A parent’s role in their child’s
language development is infinitely important, no matter what language their
child is learning. Parents should attempt to make connections with the tutor to
see how it is working. They should try and contact their child’s school about
resources like translators who can act as a go-between at parent-teacher
meetings. So learning multiple languages need not be difficult for your child
provided they have the right learning environment.
The benefits of learning English through Immersion:
You’ll have a chance
to learn about another culture: Using
immersion will help you learn about the culture of the language you’re
studying. English is a language with a wide variety of cultures.
insecurities: Locals are often happy to
see someone attempt to learn their native language. It shows that you care
about them enough to work to communicate with them.
You’ll exercise your
mind and learn faster: A study reported by Psychology
Today showed that children in second
language immersion courses perform better than students who aren’t in those
courses. Students showed cognitive improvement. The best way to master a second
language is by using it. That’s what immersion will help you to do.
You’ll learn like a
native: Slang and spoken language are a big
part of sounding natural when you speak.
In the past
ten years, the number of dual language learners has increased in classrooms
across the world, and so much new research about how best to teach these
children has come to the forefront.Two schools of thought have emerged from
this research: immersion and dual language learning.
benefits have been studied for years, while the benefits of dual language
learning are still being analysed. That being said, programs in which the two
practices overlap tend to have the best results. Benefits of immersion programs
that feature dual language learning include speed and the ability to make
connections between both languages.
article I want to convey the fact that Immersion does not require any
particular talent and is suitable for all children and all social backgrounds.
It promotes the cognitive development of children and is the method for
learning languages that leads to attaining a far higher level in the foreign
language than through conventional language courses. Now, go ahead and immerse
yourself in a new language and spread the joy of learning to everyone around
Immersion Technique, Jeff Shore- Sales keynote speaker
and author, jeffshore.com
English Immersion Program, users.skynet.be
The Immersion method, All About Educare, www.educare.de
Language teaching method, esl.fis.edu
Immersion teaching-successful approaches, Chris
7) International Journal of Indian
Psychology, a book on Immersion
effective ways to learn English, www.fluentu.com
school benefits, www.gryphonhouse.com