You’ve probably heard about total Spanish immersion and how awesome it is for learning a foreign language, right?
Well that’s is true, but what you often don’t hear about is how challenging it is!
When a family is plopped down in the middle of a total Spanish immersion experience it’s not all fun and games. Especially if you don’t speak the language, which was the case for our family.
We learned a lot about how family members react differently to an immersion environment, how kids can tend to act out because of it, and how it pulls a family even closer and makes them stronger.
There are a number of different learning styles, and you can have a good mix of those within your family unit. Some people will learn faster than others, speak more, but have pronunciation problems, others will learn slower, speak less, but pronounce very well. Learning to recognize learning differences and support one another is extremely important.
There will most likely be bouts of discouragement. We learned that the best way to deal with them is by being understanding and giving lots of encouragement.
Something that has helped me is Pimsleur Language Programs (Audible) on my iPod. With work, homeschooling our daughter, along with all the other mom-stuff it hasn’t always been easy to find time to study. So being able to listen while washing dishes has been a great way to keep up with my Spanish. In addition to Pimsleurs, we used many books to learn Spanish.
For more information about total language immersion, please check out our book, The Happy Expat Family. In the Happy Expat Family we talk about the 8 challenges faced by all expats and how to overcome them.
What has your total immersion experience been? Please share with us by commenting on this post.