In the previous article, I wrote about immersion, why it's important and how immersion can be done both in your country as well as when you travel overseas to learn. In this article, I'll give 6 ways that you can immerse yourself in a language while you still live in your country.
1. Read novels in the language that you're learning.
How often do you read? Do you have a book in your hand when you use public transportation on your way to work? Maybe when you're waiting at a doctor's office or for some service, you do a bit of quick reading until your time comes to be served. Perhaps you read in the evenings or on the weekends at home or in a cafe. If you're a reader in your native language, why not try to read in the language you're learning? You can even read the translated versions of the same books that you're already a fan of.
2. Commit yourself to using the target language (the language that you're trying to learn) for a certain amount of time each day.
For example, you might say that your commitment is to speak the target language 2 hours a day each day. You can also use the language when talking with friends in real life, as well as over the phone or online. Some might recommend a language exchange, but since we're focused on immersion, an exchange might not be the best option. Working with a private tutor would be better.
Netflix is an excellent way to add to the immersive experience. Due to Netflix being an international company, many of their programs are dubbed into one language or another. If a show you're interested in is dubbed into the language you want learn, then take advantage and watch the show.
4. Create a community of speakers
One of the difficulties that can be faced by a language learner is to have people with whom he or she can speak and do activities with. If you’re facing this issue, why not consider creating a community of speakers? Through the internet and social media, you can find people who are like you and engage in activities together. Trips to the museum, a night at the movies, time together at a café, game night, the options are endless. With everyone in your group speaking the target language during the entire time of your activity, you’ll find regular occasions where you’re actually immersed in the language. In fact, your community will be like a bubble in the world around you.
5. Go to events where the language will be used
In addition to creating your own community, you can also be active in seeking out events where the language you’re learning is being used. Does an embassy host events for their citizens? Are there any holidays or cultural affairs happening that you can attend? Maybe a prominent person from that culture will be coming to give a talk to his/her compatriots. Search and find a way to join these events. You’ll be able to listen, speak, and fully interact with the individuals who attend these events and who knows, maybe even strike up a friendship or two.
6. Regularly organize events where the language can be used
Maybe you couldn’t create a community of speakers. Maybe you couldn’t go to events where the language is being used because it’s too far or because you simply couldn’t get access. Don’t worry, the next best thing is to organize your own events. Can you create a meet and greet or a networking event for speakers and/or learners? Could there be a cultural exchange, where all participants use the language, but each speaks with a partner to talk about their respective culture? Maybe you could talk to a local cinema owner or manager and ask if they’d be willing to screen a movie in that language and then have a discussion afterward. Whatever you do, the possibilities are endless.
These are some ideas of ways to immerse yourself in a language while you are in your home country. The point of this article is to give you suggestions for creating an immersive environment. You shouldn’t feel helpless when it comes to your language learning journey. More things are in your control than aren’t, so give it a shot and try to create your ideal language immersion today.
***If you’re interested in practicing English conversation, feel free to book a session with me and we can work on a plan to help you reach your language goal. ***