Language immersion often sounds like the most daunting thing ever, but I love it because usually it’s quite fun, it puts you and your home into a nice “exotic” vibe and is usually a dirt-cheap way to make great progress in language learning.
Are you ready for the 5 ways to start your own language immersion journey from home?
Then let’s get started!
#1 LISTEN TO MUSIC
I know. Everyone says it. But it’s true. The effectiveness of listening to music in your target language is totally underrated. Seriously.
I love music, so for me, it was just natural to get a couple of music CDs (or mp3!) to start “listening in” on the music. Doing that gave me a feel for recurring sounds and syllables, the rhythm and melody of the language, the accent and so much more.
The more you listen, the more your ear becomes accustomed to it. Later, when you know a lot more words and expressions, your ear will have much less difficulty making them out in a string of spoken words.
The other great thing about music, is that once your knowledge of the language improves, you are able to “interiorize” grammar rules, sentence structure and vocabulary with almost no effort. The constant repetitions in the songs will just hammer the language right into it and you will never notice until you start singing along!
Finally, singing along to music is one of the greatest ways to create this “breakthrough” of the barrier that many students face. They are incapable of speaking because they have never practiced. But singing is almost a way to “cheat” yourself into speaking the language.
So – what are you waiting for? Go grab or download yourself some good (French!) music and start listening (and singing!). More info in my FREE Cheat Sheet!
#2 READ THE NEWS
When you’re a beginner, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just starting by reading the headlines on a few online newspapers or magazines will do. Like music, reading a lot helps to assimilate sentence structure, grammar rules and vocabulary. Because it’s all stringed together in a cohesive manner, unlike all the rules or words you learn independently from each other.
#3 WATCH TV
If there is one case where you have my full permission to indulge in the greatest couch potato-chips-cookie session, it’s now. In my experience, nothing is as efficient (once you have an intermediate level) as just sitting there for hours on end, day after day, watching TV series in your target language. That’s how I became fluent in under a week. No kidding.
#4 WRITE: KEEP A JOURNAL
Many language teachers have said it before me and I wish I had noticed its efficiency much earlier. It might have greatly helped my students!
I discovered this through a great website called www.italki.com. (In case you don’t know that platform, you should really go check it out!) They have a feature called “Notebook”, where you are encouraged to write.
For a time, I forced myself (yes, language learning is a commitment!) to write something meaningful every day. It was a great way to start thinking about something meaningful to share plus, I made great progress! Other students and teachers will correct what you wrote and you learn a lot of vocab and phrases that way.
Because I just love journaling and everything stationery so much, I’ve created my own foreign language journal, that you can get here if you want. But even if not, it’s totally easy to start journaling in a foreign language. You must just be consistent. I would also advise you to show it to a teacher or native speaker once a week or so, for feedback and correction.
#5 SPEAK WITH A LANGUAGE PARTNER
You can easily find a language partner on websites such as www.italki.com or www.verbalplanet.com
In order to do so, you can just register on one (or both!) of these sites for free and browse through the list of students wanting to learn your native language and who speak the language you’re trying to learn.
Just send them an e-mail and state your interest. If they are interested too, you can then just exchange Skype and/or What’s App information (or any other platform like Google Hangout) and make a weekly (or even bi-weekly!) appointment.
It’s a great way to start talking and even learning about the other culture!
You can do this!
Have a great one,