Learning a language in early childhood is a guarantee of success. The brain is prepared, not only for the acquisition of new words in the mother tongue and in different ones, but above all, it is particularly easy to master the nuances of pronunciation that are handled in each one. Many schools have focused attention on this issue and try to adapt their structures so that the more English is given, and the earlier, the better.
Those who have not received that type of education during elementary school or during high school may think that it is too late for them, but it certainly is not: they can opt for immersion education. A study made by Georgetown University Medical Centre (GUMC) shows that “Adults may learn a language more like a native speaker in an immersion setting than by taking classes.” Ullman, a professor of neuroscience at GUMC states that “Only the immersion training led to full native-like brain processing of grammar”, “So if you learn a foreign language as an adult you can in fact come to use native language brain processes, but you may need immersion rather than classroom exposure.”
To start learning a language by immersion, it is enough to have a bit of willpower and have a means that encourages learning. The best way would be to move for a couple of weeks or months to a city where the language one wants to learn is spoken (in this case, an English-speaking country), and that can be easily achieved through English Immersion Programs.
What exactly is a language immersion experience?
For a course to qualify as an immersion course you must meet these two requirements:
– High reading load (at least seven hours of class per day)
– Be residential and maintain full exposure to the language for at least 12 hours a day.
Therefore, it is a way to increase knowledge of any language other than the native one. These are intensive courses that combine teaching with coexistence in local families. During the stay, the immersion students have classes with native teaching professionals and, in addition, by living with people from the area, they will get to know the culture first hand and, more importantly, they will improve their ability to communicate in the foreign language.
Throughout the different language immersion courses, students will enjoy various group activities, all aimed at improving or perfecting speaking. In short, they are homestays to learn to speak a language. It is the most recommended training for the real assimilation of foreign languages. In English Language Homestays we know that language is learned by living it and therefore, we design courses and programs for the student to spend 24/7 days immersed.
There are many reasons why this method can be really effective:
1. Enhances self-confidence to speak English.
Students, being in a foreign country and having to operate on their own 24 hours a day, end up developing greater security to deal with various circumstances. They will have to make an effort to make themselves understood and that will considerably reinforce their self-esteem when communicating in a language that is not their own.
2. Improves your oral communication.
This is the fundamental objective of language immersion programs. Students, as they spend each day interacting with the foreign language, will improve their skills. There is no better way to speak the language than with constant practice and stimulus.
3. You will start to think in English.
By not speaking their home language at any time, students with an intermediate level of language will begin to think in English. One of the first barriers to overcome with learning a foreign language is the tendency to want to translate everything. If you make frequent stays of this type, you will see how you will end up expressing yourself naturally without making systematic translations.
4. You learn about other cultures.
When enjoying a stay with people from the area, cultural immersion is 360 degrees and very beneficial to know the culture and customs of the country you visit. You will hear a wide variety of accents that will improve your ability to understand the language. And especially, it will help you improve your communication skills. In short, you live and learn English.
5. Encouragement of interest in continuing to learn the language.
When you spend time abroad, you will communicate with people in a language other than your own mother tongue and the perception of the language changes. You will begin to see the usefulness and importance of studying a second language. By seeing how you handle yourself in an environment different from yours, you will end up convinced and very motivated that you should continue studying that language.
In addition, your ability to understand will be growing. You will be constantly listening to English, different accents and different people. You will learn to listen and therefore you will begin to understand.
6. Enhanced autonomy and personal growth.
Language immersion programs are an enriching experience. Young people who take summer English immersion courses, become more autonomous and independent by being away from the family. There is nothing like spending time away from family protection for students to mature and improve their ability to fend for themselves.
7. You will expand your vocabulary
In an English-speaking environment, you will encounter one and a thousand situations in which you had never imagined having to use English. From reading English (a newspaper or a magazine, for example), to learning new concepts related to the environment in which you find yourself. You will need English for everything! From asking what time you do each activity, to having conversations with your new friends. You will have to continually make the best of yourself to make yourself continuously understood and to understand the messages around you.
And last but not least, remember that even having the best teacher or courses that force you to study for many hours, these will not provide you with the communication practice that you will need to understand dialects, idioms and colloquialism that you will be exposed to whatever country you decide to visit. For this reason, English Language Homestays is more than qualified to provide assistance through our summer school or with the international language homestays in UK.