Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Don't Just be a Tourist, Fit in With Immersion Language Learning

Don't be just a tourist in Italy, immerse yourself in the culture. Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Immersion Language Learning is all the rage right now. And there are good reasons for that. If you're interested in immersion programs, it is probably because you've heard one of the following things:
  • It's the best way to learn a language
  • It' the easiest way to learn a language
  • Bilingualism is good for your brain
  • Bilingualism is good for your career
  • Travel broadens the mind
We've already talked in details about the advantages of Immersion in a precedent article. To benefit completely from your stay abroad, you must however keep this in mind: you have to make a conscious choice to fit in and to take advantage of this opportunity. 

Debunking Language learning myths

Other excuses that keep students from traveling abroad and learning a new language are some old folks tales and myths. We will take a minute to debunk each one:

  1. I'm too old: No, language learning is not only for babies. Although young children's brains learn like sponges, there's no age to learn a new language. The benefits for mental health and general health that bilingual senior citizen reap down the line are just as important. Make the best career move of your life by studying another language and moving up the career ladder, or just enjoy the freedom of being retired to finally make your traveling goals come to life.
  2. I'm too young: If you are 16 or older, then studying abroad is for you. Choose a reputable company that offers a frame to help you organize your trip, and you'll be just fine.
  3. It's dangerous: Imagine staying abroad countryside or in any city, with a family, or even learning with your tutor in his own home, and discovering the area with him/her. Wouldn't that make it an incredibly safe trip? You will be shown the best places to go; you will find out everything you need to know about the area from the people you stay with.
  4. It's too difficult: Learning a new language does require you to practice. That's why studying abroad is such a good learning method: you will practice daily, with the help and supervision of a tutor, in all natural environments and in all kinds of social settings. There is no easier way to learn a new language, while becoming fluent and practicing a correct and beautiful native accent right away.
  5. I'm too busy:  There's school, and there's homework, and then work, or maybe children... Those are some of the reasons why you don't study your target language on a daily basis at home. Once you make it a stay however -just like you would on a long "vacation"-, you don't need to worry about all that busyness and those everyday life distractions, you will just have this time set aside, planned, completely committed to your language learning experience.

Why some learn more than others

When you look into a study abroad experience, it seems like some students gain a huge lot from their experience, and others don't. We all have heard of students, especially younger ones, who travel abroad only to keep speaking their native language in the host country. Of course, if you do that, then you are unlikely to learn the language fluently, or to speak it like a native. This is more likely to happen if you have an "everybody speaks English" attitude (for example, right?). You would definitely still have a great time, but you won't put the work necessary to be truly successful.

What you need to keep in mind, is that you will gain from it what you put into it. Sure, immersion offers you, on a silver platter, the chance to practice a language daily. Is that enough? No, you must still get involved in your language learning experience. To get more of your language study journey, here are tips that will increase your involvement in the program, and thus guarantee your success:

  1. Speak your target language with all of your connections: translations accepted, but make a point to get back to your native language.
  2. Get a job in retails, restaurants, or in your field, to keep expanding your vocabulary and your connections.
  3. Find a course in a school or at a University: it will expand your academic vocabulary, and your vision of what Education means at a global level.
  4. Volunteer in shelters, or as a nanny: see the other side of the country you stay in, the everyday life, the social part of it.
  5. Find housing with a native: it guarantees the daily practice of your target language.
  6. Even better, live with your tutor: How can it get any better than that?
  7. Choose a Language program with a long experience in the business.
Remember, more often than not, your attitude is all that will stand between you and your language learning goals. So keep track of your progress, and make sure to use our tips to make the best of your language learning journey.

For immersion programs that offer all advantages discussed above, contact The Eurolingua Institute, and check out their One-to-one International Language Homestay Programs.

If you'd like to promote your business on the Eurolingua website and through its network, register in Eurolingua's unique Megalinks and Superlinks Programs.

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