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The Immersion Method PDF Print E-mail

The computerized language learning programs use the immersion method.  This method does not follow the traditional a,b,c,d   a,e,i.o  order of learning but the learner is immersed into the language just like the way a young child learns.  Lessons are arranged in topics and somewhere on the way the learner will encounter topics on the alphabet and vowels.  At the end of the course the learner realizes that he/she can actually understand, speak, read and write the foreign language.  Proper pronunciation and accent are of great importance and emphasis is put on the instructor being a native speaker of the language being learnt.

 

People tend to remember what they experience more than what they hear and read.  Memory is associated with images and experiences.  It is easier to master the route to a place by first getting lost en route than by being directed or reading a map.

 

As the learner moves from the basics (with translation) to the advanced levels he is fully  immersed into the language where he is exposed to virtual real-life situations with little or no assistance but with a lot of evaluation and feedback.  Examples of real-life situations could be where the learner has to order a meal in a restaurant, then complain about the poor service, ask for the bill and give an appropriate tip etc.  Others are where he is mugged on the streets and has to ask for directions to the police station from different people, take a taxi, report the incident and find his way back to the hotel etc. The ability to interact with these virtual communicative elements allows the language learner to explore, discover, ponder, search, question, answer and receive feedback.  At this level the learner even starts to think in the new language to enable him to solve the problems he comes across in the various scenarios.

 

It is said that the fastest way to master German is to travel to Germany (to visit or study).  One is likely to find himself in an environment where everybody speaks German and one has no choice but to try and speak the language in the shortest time possible if one expects to eat, shop, or visit the doctor during his stay. This again is “learning by immersion”.  You are thrown into the deep end and it helps to have some prior basic knowledge of that language.


 

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