Why Cultural Immersion Is Best for Spanish Studies Abroad

For many students, the idea of an immersion-based language program is daunting.   Living in an unfamiliar culture with limited language skills (at least at first) is a situation that many think they would not enjoy… but it’s by far the best way to learn a new language.

Despite the possible initial culture shock, Spanish language immersion programs are an excellent way to get a real grounding in Spanish, while having experiences a student will remember for a lifetime.

3 Reasons Spanish Language Immersion Programs Are Most Effective

  1. The world is their classroom.

One of the biggest issues with traditional classroom-based language study is that it’s so limited and compartmentalized.  The student goes into a room, learns new words for an hour or two, then goes right back to their everyday lives using their native language.  It makes language feel like “a school thing” rather than a useful life skill.

Immersion programs destroy this concept.  Students are challenged from the very beginning to use their language skills to accomplish basic day-to-day tasks, associating the language with real-life usage, while learning about a completely new and different culture.  

  1. Learn the language as it’s actually spoken.

Another major challenge to language learning is the nature of textbooks.  They almost always teach a hypothetical perfect version of the language, using formal grammar and expressions which may rarely (if ever) occur in actual everyday use. It can be a speaking style for which few real-world situations call.

Immersion-based language studies ensure the student gets a comprehensive learning experience in the language.  The combination of book-based study and real-world use ensures the student understands the formal rules and how they’re broken in casual conversation, as well as allow them to practice their oral and aural skills all day long.

  1. Faster language acquisition. 

Studies have shown that immersion-based language programs result in faster language acquisition.  This may seem obvious, due to the intensive nature of the training, but it’s a point that cannot be overlooked.  Even relatively short Spanish language immersion programs can often provide all the benefits of a full semester of study, or potentially even more.  

The only real limit is each student’s own inherent skill and interest in furthering their use of the language.  Being surrounded by native speakers for weeks or months gives them nearly limitless opportunity to expand their language usage.

Learn with the Best at the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA)

CRLA has been in operation since 1989, and has seen more than 15,000 students successfully further their use of the Spanish language while delving deeply into a foreign culture.  Contact us today to learn more about our immersive Spanish programs!