What is Language Immersion?
What is Language Immersion?
Language immersion is a program where a foreign language is used
as the language of instruction in school. In partial language
immersion, only 50-80% of a given school day is in a foreign
language. In full language immersion programs and international
study abroad programs, students eat, sleep, and breathe the
language they are attempting to learn, and so the language is
picked up much more quickly. The curriculum that the student
follows will still be the same. The only difference is the
language of instruction used by the teachers. This differs from
second language programs where the students attend a class
learning the language singularly.
Those who partake in an immersion program are forced to
communicate in the foreign language. If you choose to study
French in Paris, all classes will be taught in French. Also, you
will practice French all over Paris, speaking to native people.
Language is effectively acquired through the regular usage of
it. You have to communicate socially and there is a wide variety
of situations that require the language to be learned. This
natural interaction is fun and enriching and it also motivates
you to learn about the culture. While studying Spanish in
Barcelona, for example, you are likely to desire to learn as
much as possible about the culture of the people around you. By
incorporating language learning with content learning, it
becomes an important part of a student's cognitive and social
development. Those in an immersion program learn the foreign
language faster and are more likely to become proficient in the
language than those attending a regular second language class.
Bilingualism and multilingualism are increasingly becoming the
norm. Bilingualism opens doors to communication with people of
different races and languages in different parts of the world.
Those who know more than one language will be more competent in
this ever-cosmopolitan world of ours. Not only does immersion
assist us socially, but there is also a high possibility of
reaping economic benefits. A company looking for a bilingual
employee is much more likely to hire someone who has studied
Spanish in Madrid or learned Japanese in Japan than someone who
took a few language classes at an American university. No
college, regardless of how prestigious, can replicate the
experience and result of learning a language among native
speakers. Regardless of what some people might think about how
to handle a second language, it will not jeopardize your ability
to speak your native language. In fact, research shows that the
stronger the development of your mother tongue, the greater the
proficiency level in the immersion language. This also works
Being able to study in another country, absorbing the cultures,
lifestyles and habits, is truly a once in a lifetime
opportunity. There are many countries whose education systems
provide immersion programs for international students, where you
will be able to learn the language with other students from all
around the world.
Paris, the capital of France, proud host of the grand Eiffel
Tower and the Louvre art museum, is a wonderful place for
students studying abroad. France is a country rich in culture
and heritage, with a history that links closely to England's.
You can be romancing down the Seine, visiting the disturbing
Catacombs, or marveling at the French gothic masterpiece, the
Cathedral of Notre Dame. Besides being the perfect tourist
attraction, Paris has schools and immersion programs that cater
to people of all levels of French language proficiency. The
French are very proud of their language, and they have a reason
to be, for it truly is a beautiful language. After learning
French in Paris, you will no doubt appreciate the beauty as much
as the native French do.
What about a walk down the birthplace of the oldest
civilizations known? See the 900 year old Forum, or take a look
at Pantheon, the floating dome. Rome, Italy is the perfect place
to indulge in the Italian language, culture and heritage.
Studying in the heart of Rome, you, as an international student,
gain not only proficiency in one of the most spoken languages in
the world, but you also learn about modern Italian culture and
society. And don't forget the food!
There are so many places in the world that you can go to and
absorb culture. From studying Chinese in China to living in
laidback Spain, the choices are endless. Each country gives you
an entirely new experience from the other. You live life their
way, you eat their food and you breathe their air; there is much
to learn and take in. If you choose to study abroad or taking an
immersion program, be prepared for a whole new world that will
open up to you.