The Best Way to Learn a Language

If you are a language enthusiast like me, you may be wondering how to advance as quickly as possible in your language studies. Should you read more books in the language? Should you watch movies? Should you try an app?

While these can all be fun ways to practise a language, the quickest and most efficient way to learn a language is through immersive learning.

Now, if the word “immersive” evokes the image of an Oreo biscuit being dunked into a glass milk, then don’t panic! Immersive learning simply means learning by being directly placed in the language environment and culture. So, how does it work in practice?

Immerse yourself in your language of choice…

The easiest (albeit not the cheapest) way to learn a language would be to travel and even move to a country, which speaks your chosen language. This way you would be surrounded by native speakers and you would have to use the language every day. You would shop, pay bills, order food, use public transport, open a bank account, etc. Basically, you would have an opportunity to practise the language in different settings, learn more about the culture, try some local cuisine, learn about (and celebrate!) local holidays and customs. If you go to a bigger city, you might also have a chance to speak with people from different dialectal regions and hear different accents of the same language!

Maybe buy an exotic rug?
Maybe buy an exotic rug?

However, if you can’t afford to move or travel to a country that speaks your chosen language, don’t worry! You can still experience immersive learning by working with a teacher who is a native speaker. Essentially, what makes these classes immersive, is the fact that the teacher speaks to you only in her language. All explanations of grammar, word definitions, questions, everything is in the target language.

Very often, the teacher wouldn’t know your language and, in this case, that’s beneficial. This way your teacher wouldn’t be tempted to explain concepts in your language and you would have to make an effort to understand everything in the target language. Working in a classroom or online group setting with other students, who are asking and answering questions in the foreign language, can be quite fun and engaging. You would learn from the other students by working in pairs or groups, while also not being “put on the spot” all the time.

So what are you waiting for? Take that leap and immerse yourself into your language of choice! You’ll be fluent in no time!

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