5 Rules for Immersive English Learning

Immersive English learning is the best way to improve your English level but moving abroad is not always possible. Here’s how to achieve language immersion at home.
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What is Language Immersion?

The definition of language immersion is ‘to surround yourself totally in your target language and remove the ability to fall back on your native language to help you when you find it hard’.  

English language immersion is the process of intensive language learning in order to rapidly improve your knowledge and fluency of the English language.

Let’s have a look at the important steps you should take to immerse yourself in English whether you live in an English speaking country or not.

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What are the benefits of immersive English learning?

One 2012 study on immersive language learning showed that, compared to those learning in a classroom, students who had an immersive language experience had developed the ability to build language patterns in the brain just like a native speaker!

The reason why immersive English learning really works is that it provides endless amounts of genuine language interactions.  You feel compelled to use your language in context in order to both get by in day-to-day life, and to have the meaningful human interactions we all crave.

This way of learning a language allows you to take in and practice your language in a more natural setting, not having to rely on repeatedly studying grammar frameworks and vocabulary lists in ineffective and clinical circumstances. 

The reality is that if your language learning methodology is boring and you don’t find genuine opportunities to put your efforts to use, you are less likely to put in the effort needed to succeed and more likely to give up entirely.  

Conversely, if your language learning is part of your daily life, you’ll find it easier and more rewarding to improve and your new language skills will be developed with reinforcing emotional anchors.

How to immerse yourself in English

The best way to immerse yourself in English is, of course, to move to a native English speaking country, e.g. move to the U.K., the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia.  

However, that is not always possible, especially, without having already learnt the language.  

There are other options to achieve language learning in your daily life, such as working in an English speaking office, going to an English speaking university or, perhaps, getting an English speaking lover!  Oh la la.

These additional options may also be challenging if you have not already learnt English to a high level.  Let’s look at some techniques for immersive English learning at any level of English.

How can you achieve immersive English learning?

Immersive English learning is all about your ability to engage meaningfully with the language, ideally without the ability to fall back on your native language.  With modern technology and lifestyles, there are a lot of great ways to do that, for example:

  • Take an in-person intensive English courses online
  • Use English on all of your electronic devices (phone, computer, car, Alexa, etc)

Let’s look at a few more examples of how to achieve language immersion at home before we look at the 5 Rules of Immersive English Learning, whatever your circumstance. 

Can you achieve language immersion at home?

Today, you really can achieve language immersion at home.  There are so many options and technology has made it possible for you to live in your very own little England inside the four walls of your house.  Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Ask your housemates to speak only in English 
  • Take an English immersion course online
  • Only watch TV, news, films, etc in English 
  • Join the ELAN Community to engage with others in English
  • Join an English text chat for real time conversation (such as in the ELAN Community)
  • Play online multiplayer video games with English speakers (this will really ramp up the emotional anchors!)

So, can you achieve language learning at home?  Yes.

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What is an online English immersion course?

Typically, English immersion courses are based in an English speaking country.  However, as we are focussing on achieving language immersion at home, let’s look at the features of our online courses which try to tap into the benefits of immersive learning.

      • English only guidance (i.e. you learn English, in English!)
      • Real, genuine exercises that let you practice your English
      • Limited or no grammar and vocabulary focused lessons
      • Fosters genuine reasons to use your language
      • Provides real-life human interaction outside of the classroom
      • Provides real-time conversations
      • Allows you to use your language to read, write, listen and speak

If you’d like to find out more about our unique, fun and engaging English courses, we offer Business English, and English Courses covering B1 Intermediate, B2 Upper-intermediate, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficient levels. 

5 Rules for Immersive English Learning

Finally, let’s look at five rules for effective immersive English learning with or without living in an English speaking country. 

These top tips are not practical ‘do this, try that’ suggestions, but fundamental guidelines for taking advantage of the benefits of language immersion when you are trying to learn English as a foreign language. 

1. Act the part – Part of an overseas immersive experience is being surrounded by the culture, accent and feel of the language.  Your mind is a powerful tool, however, and you would be surprised how far you can get by literally pretending to be an English native. 

2. Seek genuine experiences – Your language will never flourish in a textbook or reciting vocabulary in a classroom.  Find genuine opportunities to use your language to read, write, listen and speak in English

3. Find language partners – Let’s face it, language is about communicating with people all over the world.  Getting access to new information and ideas.  Whether it’s your housemates or a global community of English language learners such as in our ELAN Community, you need to find people who you can talk with about interesting topics.

4. Get emotional – Much like seeking genuine experiences, find ones that will drive strong emotions too.  If you think back to your childhood, every vivid memory you will have will have a strong emotional connection.  So use this to embed your language by watching sport, playing video games, etc.

5. Join a great course – With the internet, you are no longer bound by the quality of your local school.  Find an excellent course provider who subscribes to the tips above and provides you with genuine language experiences and expertly designed courses.

Click here to find out more about our online English Language courses or watch the video to find out more.

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