Immersion is an excellent technique when it comes to teaching a second language. This technique allows students to study material unrelated to the language in that tongue in the hope that it will foster their proficiency in it. This is a very different way of teaching from what most people are used to.
Individuals interested in these types of programs should be aware of what they’re getting themselves into. A full immersion class would have nearly everything presented in second language, with nearly no material presented in the student’s native one. This can be a bit overwhelming at times, but it encourages students to learn their new language the same way that they learned their native one.
Those who are concerned that they couldn’t keep up do have different options, however. Partial immersion programs might be a better fit. For instance, assume someone was taking Mandarin Chinese lessons. About half the class would be spent speaking entirely in Mandarin. The remaining half would primarily feature instructions given in English. This helps to give students time to adapt to the new style.
Progressive groups like Bamboo Shoots and other similar education programs have been experimenting with a variety of styles. One thing that all students seem to enjoy in immersion classes is the opportunity to converse with one another in their new language. Casual conversation makes learning a new language fun and easy, and it certainly takes some of the pressure off working in the second language.