A great deal of research has been done into the benefits of linguistic immersion. This is a type of language training that aims to reproduce the way we learn our mother tongue as very young children.
Much of the research that has been done into this type of language training have been very positive. Because of this, many modern language courses seek to include immersive techniques into their language learning programmes.
We would like to advise some caution here. Though immersive language training can be an excellent addition to language training…
Not all linguistic immersion language courses are the same. Some educational providers are able to include these techniques in a natural, authentic manner, but others find this part difficult.
To really get the best for linguistic immersion for language learning, we think it is important to maintain authenticity.
Is linguistic immersion the best way to learn a language?
Before we look too deeply into the importance of the authenticity of immersion led language learning programmes, let’s rewind. Is immersion the best way to learn a language?
A recent research by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) from the Minnesota University points out that students who rely on methods that include linguistic immersion improve faster in the main aspects of language learning than those who study in the traditional ways:
“Immersion students attain the same levels of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening in English as students in all-English programs. (…) Immersion students acquire advanced levels of functional proficiency in the second language – far superior to that achieved by students in conventional foreign language programs”.
Although it’s difficult to clearly state what the best way to learn a language is, these studies show that immersion is one the most effective. All students are different and therefore benefit from different teaching styles and techniques. However, it is true that we all learn our first language by way of immersion. Babies learn the language of their parents by being completely surrounded by it.
Because of this, it’s natural to accept that language immersion should have a very key place within quality language courses. This is true whether they are delivered in a traditional classroom, via eLearning or as part of a blended learning programme.
Why is it important that linguistic immersion language courses are authentic?
Many eLearning, blended learning and virtual classroom based language courses seek to include immersive learning techniques. However, it’s important to keep in mind that how these learning techniques are used are important.
In order to get the full benefit of immersion, whether in a physical classroom or a virtual classroom, it needs to be well structured. Language immersion works at it’s best when it is delivered in a real context.
How can you deliver authentic linguistic immersion as part of your language training?
One of the best things about eLearning language courses is that it is easier than ever before to replicate the real context of true language immersion. eLearning and blended learning language training programmes can create virtual activities and scenarios inside the virtual platforms or online learning space.
This can be done by offering video content as well as photos and exercises to mimic the way students learnt their native language. By giving your students access to these typical scenarios, you will enable them to put into practice the phrases, vocabulary and listening skills they have learned. This kind of practice will be invaluable.
How does the Dexway method support linguistic immersion in language training?
The Dexway method is clear on just how important it is for students to have regular access to high quality language practice. We believe language learning works best when a full range of language training techniques are utilised. Blended learning allows students to get the best from eLearning, virtual classroom and classroom based techniques.
Linguistic immersion is a very important part of this, which is why it plays a key role in the Dexway method of language learning. We offer students the freedom to access these tools whenever they choose.
These Dexway tools are combined with voice recognition technology in order to allow them to practice what they have learnt and get instant feedback on how well they are performing.
The great thing about these tools is that they can be used wherever and whenever they are required. They can work really well in the classroom as part of a blended learning programme, or they can be accessed by students during self study time.
The nature of the Dexway method and the associated technology means that students are able to access these cloud based virtual classroom tools from wherever they are, without having to download or install any additional software.
Would you like to learn more about the Dexway method?
Would you like to learn more about the Dexway method and how it could benefit your students? Please read about our online cloud based language learning software. Features include linguistic immersion, voice recognition evaluation, conversational groups, virtual assessments and even real time monitoring.
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