by Kate Kerns
Immersion programs put students into a situation where they must speak and understand Spanish all the time. These programs are developed so that the student will speak and hear the language in a variety of social situations and on a continual basis. The length of the programs varies but they all provide the student with the opportunity to use what they have learned in practical situations. It also allows the student to hear different variations of voice tones and inflections.
More often than not, immersion dramatically improves both vocabulary and accent. Students are living where they hear familiar and unfamiliar words on a daily basis, occasionally having to resort to acting out what they are trying to say and lots of pointing. Some students who take advantage of total immersion programs have little or no experience with the language.
People from all across the globe have taken advantage of immersion experiences. Normally, immersion is done to help students learn to speak a new language but many also focus on reading and writing. For people who are moving to a country where another language is spoken, it can be a very effective way to learn the new language. The experience can be frustrating, but it is very educational.
A natural way to be immersed in Spanish language and culture is to consider studying Spanish in Spain or another Spanish-speaking country.