With Summer holidays rapidly approaching, more and more people ask us if enrolling in an immersion language program is a good idea. The short answer is yes, studying abroad will help. But we need to be honest with your expectations. Nobody will become fluent in Spanish after spending 2 or 3 weeks in a Spanish-speaking country. Not satisfied with this? Keep reading to know how we truly feel about immersion language training.
Don’t get us wrong, though. Studying Spanish abroad is a great way to hear and speak the language in loco. You’ll also probably understand the culture of the country a lot better.
We highly recommend studying Spanish abroad for those students who are looking to defeat the learning curve that sometimes happens on more advanced levels - namely from B1 to B2 and B2 to C1. Joining an immersion language program is a good way of getting ahead, practice and renew your interest in Spanish. Plus, that’s when you can really take advantage of these programs.
It’s not hard to understand why more advanced learners can benefit from these immersion language programs. For starters, you already understand enough to pick up new words and expressions merely by their context. Your ears are also trained to hear the sounds, so you’ll be able to reproduce what you hear. And then, we expect you to be able to speak and venture out into the world on your own.
We don’t mean to say beginners can’t enjoy immersion language programs abroad as well. We’ve known students who came back with more willingness to learn Spanish after an immersion. After picking up an impressive amount of vocabulary they were more confident that it would take them only a few more months to master the language. Each case is different, so if you’re really eager to do it then do it!
The most negative thing about these immersion language programs isn’t even the programs' fault. The worst thing that can happen to students is that the immersion won't match expectations. Which is why we’re adamant in reminding you that miracles don’t happen. It takes a long time to learn a language so you shouldn’t expect to master any language in a short period of time.
You should also keep in mind that simply being in a Spanish-country is not enough to learn. We often hear stories of people whose language skills progressed very little even after an entire semester abroad. That usually happens when their language learning activities are confined to the classrooms. Or they spent most of their time with other foreigners speaking English. So how much you get from these programs depends on your attitude as well!
Finally, we would like to point out that nobody learns the same way. Immersion programs work really well for some people, but others prefer to understand the structure and the grammar before jumping into anything else. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works for you or not!
If you’re interested in joining a immersion language program or studying Spanish abroad, send us a message. We have Spanish tutors throughout the world and partner schools in countries like Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.