You want to learn Spanish. Maybe you took Spanish classes in high school. Maybe you’ve even tried a slew of “repeat after me”-style CDs, computer discs and apps. But for all your trying, your foreign language skills don’t go much beyond how to order at a restaurant.
It’s time to take it to the next level by attending a Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica. Rather than approach learning a new language by taking classes one to two hours a week, Spanish immersion classes allow students to fully experience the language, which fosters faster, more meaningful learning.
Here are just five ways attending Spanish immersion classes in Costa Rica can help you learn Spanish faster.
Lose your inhibitions. What if I mess up and sound stupid? Most students attempting to learn a second language fear making mistakes when speaking. This self-doubt can inhibit learning when in a classroom setting. But the nature of immersion language classes means each student must actively speak the language. The classes are designed for students to “live in” the language, which fosters learning, both from others and from a student’s own mistakes, and leaves no room for second guessing.
Learn like a child.
While it’s true that children learn a second language easier than adults (studies show they are better able to mimic native pronunciation and intonation), studies show immersion language programs are very effective for adults. By “living in” a language, students absorb the language by listening and speaking it, much like a child would.
Process Spanish like a native speaker.
In a recent study, researchers taught an artificial language consisting of 13 words to two different test groups—one that learned in a formal classroom setting and another that was trained through immersion. Five months later, the researchers tested both groups again and found that both groups retained the language despite not using it at all, but only the immersion group displayed the full brain patterns of a native speaker. The study provides evidence that adult brains taught through immersion are able to re-wire themselves to mimic the brain pattern of native speakers.
Learn how people really talk.
While there might be some rare instance where you might need to know how to say “the monkey is on the branch” or “he is drawing a drawer,” these types of textbook-only sentences don’t often appear in real life. At a Spanish school in Costa Rica, you will still build your vocabulary and learn proper grammar, but you’ll learn them while also focusing on real life scenarios and sentences. Being around native speakers also means you’ll pick up slang and nuances of the language that can’t be taught by a text book, like idioms and colloquialisms.
Instead of taking hour-long classes once or twice a week, Spanish immersion classes in Costa Rica thrust you into the language all at once. You’re taught by native speakers, surrounded by other students who are speaking Spanish, and staying in a Spanish-speaking country. Outside of the classroom, you have the opportunity to practice your new skills by interacting with locals. All of this leads to faster, more permanent knowledge of the language.