Immersion: Myths & Attitudes

Illustration from a collection of myths.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My primary method of language learning is immersion. I’ve tried taking classes, I’ve tried memorization, I’ve tried studying books, but the one thing that works for me is immersion.

Since arriving to Taiwan people frequently ask me if I am enrolled in a language program here. They seem a bit befuddled when I say no, I’m learning on my own.

As a result I have encountered several different attitudes about immersion language learning.

  • Some people think this approach is “brave.”
  • To many people it just doesn’t make sense. Often their only experience of language learning has occurred in a classroom environment.
  • To some folks, it looks like I am not as serious or committed to learning as someone who takes classes and works on homework assignments every night.
  • And to others it seems like I’m effortlessly absorbing the language through socializing.

Immersion language learning requires me to wear two hats at once. I have to be a friend and social participant, as well as a student, jotting down notes, looking up words, and asking questions, all the while not interrupting the flow of the social interaction.

There are many ways to learn language. What method do you prefer?

Fairy Tales: Chinese Language Listening Resource

This is a fun and free resource for practicing listening skills in Chinese!

playlist of 66 videos of fairy tales compiled by ny0204ny on YouTube features animated stories narrated in Mandarin Chinese. The videos feature different voices for various characters. Most of these videos are nicely subtitled with traditional Chinese characters. Each video is about 20 minutes in length. An example is Cinderella, below.

What Is Immersion Language Learning?

Asian girl in white clothing

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immersion language learning occurs in the natural environment where the target language is spoken.

This kind of learning is deeply rooted in real life context. Learners have direct and personal experience with what they are learning by interacting in the language and culture.

Immersion language learning can also be combined with formal training, like taking a language course in the country where the target language is spoken.

Dating In Taiwan: One Friend’s Love Story (Part 2)

holding hands

 

Dating In Taiwan: One Friend’s Love Story was originally published on May 23, 2013.

My friend recently updated me on his love story.

We went on a date tonight to see a movie. I had prepared some fruit, sliced of course, and she said she liked it.

After the movie, we were taking the escalator and it suddenly stopped. I grabbed her hand and asked her if she was okay. She seemed frightened. I hope she thought I was heroic! It was the first time I held her hand.

Later we bought some fried chicken. After she was done eating, I took the opportunity to wipe her mouth with a tissue. I said, “You are like a child.” She was shy.

She has never had a boyfriend. She is a special girl. Her friends told me that she is not familiar with love. I am still not her boyfriend yet, just a close friend. But I think she loves me a little, that is why she went to see the movie with me.

I’ve been noticing a heroic man / innocent woman theme emerging in the stories and attitudes of the Taiwanese people I talk to about love and dating. I’m looking forward to sharing more about this with you in a future post!

What do you predict will happen in the next chapter of their love story?