Spanish immersion programs have been popular for many years for one simple reason – they work. And the logic behind this success is simple. Studying in the classroom necessarily lasts a couple of hours at most, for reasons as wide ranging as teacher availability to the duration of student concentration. Learning Spanish through an immersion program, however, takes learning out of the confines of the classroom and releases into the realm of real life.
Immersion language learning works as simply as it sounds – the student is immersed into a Spanish environment that does not cease to educate after an hour, as learning in the classroom does. Immersion learning works best, however, when combined with classroom sessions, as the Spanish-speaking environment affords the student an opportunity to practice what they have learned.
Learning Spanish is not a theoretical process, it is one that involves practical use of what is being learned. By being immersed in a Spanish-speaking community, the student cannot simply the leave the classroom behind, along with what they have learnt that day – the environment demands that their new knowledge be utilized every time they visit the store, or take a bus. It is practice that is the key to acquiring the comfort and familiarity with a language that leads to fluency, and by implementing Spanish immersion in a student's training, this familiarity is quickly earned by speaking the language all the time.
An added benefit of most Spanish immersion programmes is that they involve the participation of a Spanish speaking family with whom the student resides. The friendly environment found in a family home is the perfect place to take those first, faltering language steps. Involvement in a family also gives the student a realistic flavor of Spanish culture, expanding the learning experience and bringing the language alive.
So learn to speak Spanish the best way – with real people, in the real world.