What about immersion?

Women TalkingImmersion is a pretty big idea in the Language Learning community, and I agree it's a fantastic method!... to a point.

Here's my "point:" If we overwhelm our students, they'll tune the language out, especially if they know that at SOME point during their day, they'll get back to their native language. So, a lot (as usual) depends on the student. It's pretty difficult to use true immersion in America, without a native speaker living in your home full time.

So… keep it simple: think about how we learned our first language.  When a baby begins speaking, he usually says names of people first -  Momma, Daddy. Next is the ever-exciting "bye-bye" and "Hi!"

Afterwards, our precious darlings begin adding…. NOUNS! Simple nouns  of things he wants. Like cracker, cookie, milk, drink. Finally we get  to hear a few words that can be added to everything like PLEASE, MORE,  and THANK YOU.

So, when learning a second language, HARNESS this method. Your brain  (and your child’s brain) has already done this once – you’re reading  this article, right, and it is written in the complex language of  English. So the proof is there:

YOU CAN LEARN A LANGUAGE!  Congratulations!

Your second language has a few different rules, but is still made up  
of parts like manners, greetings, nouns, adjectives, and verbs and  lots of little articles and such.  Focus on the main parts first. As  you are looking to progress, think of the words you hear  most often come from your mouth or your children’s mouths. Translate  those words, and try to not say them in English for the day! The next  day, choose a new word. (Flip Flop Spanish Flashcards has already chosen these words for you, if you need a short cut.)

For all my friends that like steps (like me):

STEP 1: Make a list of ten words that you and your family say  frequently.
STEP 2: On the same page, translate those words to the target language. Post the page on the fridge.
STEP 3: Ask your family to choose one of the ten to NOT say in English that day. (Label it so no one forgets...)
STEP 4: Agree on a "stake" – what happens if you slip? What happens if you use the word a lot? Do you want to keep score? Or put a penny in a jar for each time you slip? Or do a funny dance as "punishment" for using the word in English?


As always, keep your learning journey "chunky and light" and keep coming back here for more encouragement. I love this stuff!

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published