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I am often asked about how to accomplish immersion in order to better learn a foreign language. Immersion is the best way to learn a language but few of us have the time to go to a foreign country for six months. How then do we create a language-rich environment in our own homes? The following is a list of things that will help start you on your way:

Please remember that learning vocabulary is only part of learning the language. Programs that are heavy on vocabulary are missing vital elements of foreign language learning. All aspects of the language are important. A good foreign language program should include the following: grammar, syntax, orthography, phonetics, vocabulary, and culture. Now you might think that culture is not a necessary element in foreign language learning, but language is only part of the way we communicate. Understanding the people, what is important in their lives, and how they relate to each other is all part of being able to make a connection.

Listening to native speakers is so important that if you do not include it, you will never be able to understand native speakers in a conversational setting.

How can I listen to a native speaker?

One fun way to accomplish this task is to take a movie that you are familiar with in English. Put it on in the language you are learning with the same language as sub-titles. For example, putting the movie on with a Spanish audio track and English sub-titles won't do much good. Your brain will tune out the Spanish, enjoy the movie via the subtitles, and there will be little language learning. If you are listening and watching the Spanish words, however, you will get the most benefit. Remember you should have basic comprehension because you have already listened to the movie in English.

Feedback from a native speaker while using a solid foreign language program:

How do we find feedback?

One idea is to join or start a language club. Another suggestion is to start or join a Co-op that includes a foreign language component. Many co-ops are hiring native speaking instructors for feedback.

The creation of language in both spoken and written form is a necessary component of learning a language. How to you accomplish this? Here are some suggestions:

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