Immersive learning is the process of developing skills and knowledge through real-world experiences. It is one of the most effective ways to learn, particularly if you are learning a new language. Immersive learning can make a big difference to your language abilities, quickly. It can boost your motivation, help with your speaking confidence, hone your pronunciation, and widen your range of vocabulary.
Immersive language learning traditionally refers to visiting or living in a country where the native language is English. However, not every English student is able to move to an English-speaking country just to improve their language skills! Luckily, nowadays, we can create immersive experiences using artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is already sparking a revolution in education in lots of different ways. AI can simulate environments and interactions which allow students to practice communicating in English. This makes immersive language learning more accessible and affordable, with no need to travel to an English-speaking country.
Let’s take a look at how AI can help you create an immersive language experience and boost your English language skills.
How does English language immersion work?
English language immersion is about being surrounded by the English language – listening to it, reading it, writing it, and speaking it. This total exposure is designed to help students adopt English naturally through activities and conversations, instead of simply memorizing words and grammar rules. Language immersion equally encourages you to express yourself with ease.
When learning English as an immersive experience, the brain becomes more flexible and capable of adapting to the new linguistic demands. Immersive learning is so successful because it gives learners the chance to speak English in meaningful, practical contexts, which helps new information to stick. Hearing, reading, writing and speaking English on a daily basis helps to reinforce memory and lets students build emotional connections to the language, which boosts retention further.
Research shows that students who learn a foreign language via immersion have a deeper knowledge of the language, plus a better understanding of other cultures. There are also indications that language immersion activates the brain’s language centers more intensely, which leads to quicker language processing and comprehension. At the same time, it’s thought that language immersion can enhance cognitive functions like problem solving and multitasking. It’s like a workout for your brain!
How to do English language immersion at home?
So, the benefits of English language immersion are clear – but what if you don’t live in an English-speaking country? With AI, learners can shape their own immersive habits at home and reap the benefits. These simple steps can ensure that your immersive language experience is fully optimized:
1. Combine AI with your daily actions
Start by thinking about how you can fit language practice into your daily routine. If you have a long commute on public transport in the morning, an AI resource on your phone would be good. If you work on a computer all day, a desktop platform makes sense. Then, you can research and sign up to the right AI-powered tool that works with your routine.
Virtual language exchanges with AI-based chatbots are particularly valuable, as you can converse with them at any moment. Aim to interact with them for a minimum amount of time per day, and keep topics relevant to what’s happening in your life. Speak about upcoming projects at work, or run through topics for your afternoon meeting. Chat about what you’re having for lunch, and what you’re planning to buy at the grocery store on your way home. Talk about your plans for the weekend, or a TV show you’ve been watching. This type of daily conversation will make a huge difference to your English speaking skills.
2. Pay attention to feedback
When you’re in an English-speaking country, you will constantly receive feedback on your language skills when interacting with people. For example, if people don’t understand you, they will ask you to repeat yourself. If you make a grammar mistake or use the wrong word, people will often correct you. This kind of regular and immediate feedback is one of the elements that make immersion such a successful learning experience.
The good news is that there are lots of AI language learning resources that can offer immediate feedback in a similar way. For example, ELSA’s AI tutor gives a detailed breakdown of your pronunciation, grammar, fluency, and more in real time. This immediate feedback highlights errors as you make them, allowing you to correct them early, before they become a habit. Studies also reveal that faster feedback positively affects motivation when learning a new language.
3. Track your progress
AI English tutors have automatically-generated analytics that can show your strengths and areas for improvement when learning English. As you move through your immersive experience, check metrics that show where you’re exceeding and where you need to dedicate more time. Maybe you’ll find that your vocabulary is good, but you need to work on your pronunciation. Or maybe you speak clearly, but make some grammatical mistakes. This type of detailed information can guide you to target your studying to fill any gaps in your English knowledge, and empower self-led learning – which can enhance motivation and metacognitive skills.
4. Apply English everywhere
Beyond your AI toolbox, make an effort to bring English into your world elsewhere. Read the newspaper in English, listen to music in English, follow English recipes, engage with English speakers online, and actively seek out people who are native English speakers to meet up with.
By introducing English into the general parts of your life, it will feel more organic and you’ll find that you start to think in English unconsciously. You’ll also be able to pick up more informal terms and slang in English. You might even start to dream in English!
Language immersion will always be a powerful strategy to learn English. In the modern age, however, it doesn’t have to imply leaving your country – or even your house! AI can put immersive contexts at your fingertips, and enable you to adopt English accurately and interactively.
Ready to build your own English immersion at home?