The Advantages of Learning Spanish in an Immersion Environment For many reasons language immersion is superior to other language learning techniques, and students that have the opportunity to participate in an immersion program should do so. School classrooms whether it be primary, secondary, high school, or university level do not engage the student sufficiently to develop a need to learn the material in a proficient manner. Grammar rules are studied and learned at home with the student reading to him self or her self and not pronouncing aloud. Therefore, the student lacks the practice of actually speaking Spanish and because of this, most classroom students have bad pronunciation. Also in classroom environments the teacher is explaining rules to a group of students, many times a large group of students, and can not give much individual attention. The teacher may ask a question or two to each student, but this one minute of conversation, several times a week, is not enough to benefit the student.
So again, classroom students do not have conversation practice, and even after years of studying, more often that not, they can not speak Spanish. Also classroom students really lack a "need" to learn the language. They can be motivated by achieving a high mark in the exam but there is no substitute for a real survival need to learn. Immersion programs excel in the areas where classroom settings fail. Living in a foreign country and perhaps residing in a host family that only speaks Spanish, gives the students a real need to learn the language for basic survival and the fulfill the human need to communicate and express themselves. Immersion programs literally wrap the student in Spanish for many hours a day as opposed to a brief classroom experience limited to several hours a week.
All daily activities for the immersion student are in Spanish, the markets, stores, newspapers, street conversations, television, and radio - all are essential and add together to aid in the learning process. Immersion programs generally consist of 4 hours a day of lessons - 2 hours of grammar and rules and 2 hours of conversation, improving pronunciation and communication skills. Good immersion programs also offer students activities in the afternoon that give the students windows into the local culture, giving them an opportunity to learn Spanish while learning the culture itself.
An example would be learning about local food and customs by offering cooking classes.
Academia Colonial: A First Class Spanish School in Antigua Guatemala. For more information and loads of pictures visit www.AcademiaColonial.com We're Recreating the Spanish School 1 Student at a Time!