3+ Language Immersion Tips Your Teen Can Use at Home
Learning a new language is a long but exciting process that involves much more than just memorization and practice. In fact, one of the best ways to learn a second language is to immerse yourself in it. By listening and speaking to real, live people, you will feel much more motivated about learning the language than staring at a book or tablet.
On Immersion Island, we offer a fully immersive environment that is both fun and educational. The campers love it and gain a great deal of experience speaking Spanish or French, while embracing the culture of those who speak them. To ensure they retain what they learn and continue developing their speaking skills, it is important they maintain that immersive environment at home.
Change Their Settings
According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online. By changing the digital language settings on their phone, camera, computer or TV, you can provide an immersive online environment that will keep them engaged and teach them technical jargon in the language of their choosing.
Start with Google and social media. Here are directions for a few of the main sites our kids are using:.
A simple search online for, “How do I change the language settings for my (Camera/TV brand name)?” will help with the rest.
This simple change can make language learning a part of the daily activities your kids do most and will help to reinforce a sense of immersion and ongoing commitment to their language learning goals. At first it can be intimidating but that’s what learning curves are all about!
Join Some Groups
Now that your social media is all set up, start searching for some groups on Facebook where you can interact with people from other countries. Facebook has a group for everything, including:
These groups provide a safe environment for language learners to interact with native speakers and other learners.
Other social media sites also offer alternatives where you can interact with native speakers, pick up useful tools and resources and learn other great tips. Here are a few options:
There are many, many more options to choose from so find something you’re comfortable with and get involved.
Create an Immersive Home Environment
There are many ways you can alter your home environment to help your child in their language learning journey. The more they experience the language they’re learning, the quicker they’ll be speaking like a native. Here are a few things you can do to help:
Flashsticks! These are amazing and can be used anywhere as they have different versions. Be sure to download the APP.
Get a Label maker or Post-it notes. Label items around the house such as appliances, games, and digital devices. Get creative and add phrases that describe what the item is or does and don’t forget to post a positive affirmation on the mirror everyday to really shake things up.
Get THIS! Tilco, The Intuitive Learning Company has created a shower curtain for language learners. Your teen can practice French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and more while showering every day.
Have Immersion Days each week. Schedule one day a week when they can only speak the language they’re learning. If you (the parent) do not speak the language, you can use an audio interpreter app like this to keep up with the conversation and ensure they are doing well.
Foreign movie night. Plan a weekly foreign movie or show night each week. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon all offer some great series and movies the whole family can enjoy. (I’m watching 3% on Netflix right now).
There are many other ways to immerse yourself in a new language at home, just get creative and have fun. Your child will appreciate the extra help and attention and you may learn a thing or two, as well.
If you have an idea or “hack” for home, please share on our Facebook page. We love hearing how our families are getting immersed at home.