Does Immersion Of Foreign Languages On Computers Work?
Foreign Languages Computers – Many people praise the best way to learn languages is through immersion, but it is often difficult to spend time living in another country. Can virtual immersion work? Can immersion in a foreign language on a computer really work?
The concept of immersion in learning a foreign language is not new, but its presentation has changed in recent times. Twenty years ago a student would go to a country to study languages and really drown in the absence of a translator or teacher. This is a sinking or swimming situation; whether you learn to communicate or have trouble getting around the country and survive. This is a great way to learn languages, but not an easy or practical language.
Even with actual immersion, which you can get through an overseas study program available at any university. It takes months and months to truly learn the language. As an overseas American in France, it takes more than 5 months of constant class, interaction with France, and a lot of frustration forced on France-telecommunications (which can rival some of our worst customer service representatives) to feel semi-confident in French. And this is after 5 years of traditional French class. Even though you can do it, coloring requires a lot of time and commitment. By traveling becoming scarce, and living abroad as an anomaly, the idea of immersion has changed drastically.
The Modern Concept
The modern concept of language learning through immersion uses a computer to sit and be surrounded by languages. That means there are no English words presented in this program and you will only see and hear the words in the language you are studying. In theory, this would be similar to the way babies learn languages just by looking at the words and finally finding out what they mean and how to say it. Then the child gets bigger and the teacher teaches them the structure of language, nouns, verbs, pronouns, etc. This concept is unfortunately flawed because most people learn languages not babies and will not learn through auditory osmosis.
Experience Language Differently
Another fly in the ointment is the fact that the adult brain prepares to learn and experience a different language from small children. The “hard cable” of the brain means learning a language will be difficult especially if the technique used is based on maintenance, total language immersion techniques. Remember, language learners only experience limited immersion and will eventually rise from the computer and return to the original language. This is like a 2 step forward, 3 step backward phenomenon. Without having half a year available to roam in Europe the next best way to learn languages is through a structured teaching format that allows “wired” students (more than five years) the ability to use grammar knowledge in the integration of new languages. It is important to start with the basic language to build.
With “Talk in a Week”, the teacher presents students with conversation phrases that they can use in interpersonal communication. These practical expressions will allow students to think in language, communicate and interact with speakers of foreign languages instead of only being able to read a list of laundry items. Communication is very important. Learn foreign languages in an easy and efficient way to use “Speak in a Week!”
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