How Full Immersion Begets Language Acquisition

10.08.20 06:56 AM

So Many People Believe in Full Immersion

Our teachers have been in this industry for quite some time in various countries around the world. Surrounding a student in a full immersion foreign language class or school just beats the odds at creating a second home in the brain. Many have researched how languages are acquired in the first place and we are in complete agreement with the possibilities of achievement through immersion. 

We persist in immersion to see students succeed in all subject areas on an academic level. Languages are not just for mere communication. They're also needed to acquire academic skills. When started at an early age, it can be much easier to obtain a nearly native accent as well. Imagine going out to do business, working to build up diplomatic relations or completely avoiding a rare health scare that can only be resolved by being able to read ancient hieroglyphs! Or...not. That's the goal when we immerse you in our language classes. Once you reach bilingual levels, your brain will work less hard to focus on what is truly important.

Crafted banner of a student confused in a Chinese class.

The Way Full Immersion Should Work

You must prepare yourself or your child as much as you can mentally before beginning a full immersion language class. Especially if you've never taking the foreign language before. You'll want to ease the moment of shock when you look around yourself 10 minutes into class and realize, "the teacher hasn't spoken a work of English! How in the world do they expect me to learn anything in here?!"

Trust us. All you've got to do is sit back, relax and follow the leader. A good teacher will use inflection in their voice to try and help you pay attention. Great teachers will find ways to model their point, use various modes of media to fill in the gaps that virtual instruction can have, use body language and more to make sure they've given your brain enough clues to begin to decipher their meaning. The brain will use context clues to differentiate sounds and zone in on visual details to tell you what's going on.

We use the Natural Approach, bringing language to you authentically through subjects you need to know or are interested in. Everyone learns better when they can relate to something through music they like, celebrities/professional people, current events and the like. And this is what immersion is all about. You learn a language to assist you in successfully navigating situations that really do pop up in life.

Skepticism in Regards to Children Learning Foreign Languages

Every time a full immersion language class is on the table, parents believe their children will somehow reject the English language and become a person that they cannot recognize, or simply fall behind in being able to use English. Fortunately, we can assure you that your child will be fine as long as you're still speaking English at home and in other places that are not the target language classroom. There are studies that have found that when the English language takes a backseat to the other, it simply bounces back with about 2 years of instruction. In fact, their English will likely gain some weight. Keep in mind that getting the hang of a language usually takes a good three years anyway.

You may be wondering if learning Chinese or Korean will throw children for a bigger loop. So far, we haven't found any evidence supporting this. Humans were made to acquire language and communicate with each other. Remind yourself that, when done naturally in a relaxed environment, we can learn most anything. That includes children. They're only little humans.

'But what if my family is not really too close to the upper class? Has no way to interact with the ethnic group of the target language outside of class? Is younger/older than the other students?'

Fair questions. So far, it looks like if a child has learned a mother tongue, they'll be able to learn another. Let go of some of that stress and prepare to watch your child ease into a new language despite the odds believed to be stacked against them.

Banner depicting a child developing language skills.

To Persevere in any Foreign Language

Learning any language takes real commitment. We don't mean copying 10 pages of lines each day or translating a dictionary by hand to accomplish this. You have to let the brain do what it does best; figure things out. Humans can hear from within the womb. In the first few hours after entering the real world, we are thrust into hearing everything all the time. 

Without taking a single note on paper, or hearing one translation, we suddenly pop out words around 10 months. At about a year and a half years old, we're making small requests, but in just one more year those request have become longer winded demands. If all of this can occur by merely being spoken to (and around), sang to (and around) and read to (and around), don't you think you or your child will learn your language of choice in due time?

We Will Have Fun and It Will Be Memorable

There is no way for us to judge your previous experiences with traditional language classes or even other immersion schools. However, we know what we do in class. We know what we do outside of class. We are attached to our commitment of seeing you through to the other side, multilingual.

Play games with us. Sing with us. Watch heartwarming video with us. Each time we interact, you should be walking away with a little bit more than what you came with. More than a language. A new perspective, piqued curiosity, the possibilities are truly endless.

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