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Education Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
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OSL Offline
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Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
These are languages in which I would like to reach fluency:

-French

-Spanish

-Portuguese

-Mandarin

-Thai


These are intensive full-time immersion courses that I know of and plan to attend when I have the time to someday do it:

CHINA - MANDARIN - http://www.keatsschool.com

FRANCE - FRENCH - http://www.institutdefrancais.com

-----

I think it's critically important to do an intensive and concentrated immersion program if you are serious about learning a language. None of this "learn it slowly and passively over 2 years while stopping to smell the roses" bullcrap. Who has time for that?

Does anyone know of any intensive language immersion courses in Spain, Latin America, Thailand, Brazil, where one could learn the other languages?

I'm particularly interested in these locations:

-Spain (Barcelona)

-Brazil (Rio, SP, Belo)

-Colombia (Medellin, Bogota)

-Chile (Santiago)

---

Obviously, feel free to compile sources for other courses/programs you may know of - Japanese, German, Indonesian, Russian, etc etc

The program should NOT be "take a two hour class two times a week and by the end of 6 months you'll be able to order coffee"

The program should be "live at the school and learn (language) for 20-40 hours per week and in 3 months you'll be totally conversationally fluent"
11-10-2013 09:20 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I'm also interested in this specially Mandarin.

Regarding learning Portuguese in Brasil there are intensive courses but they are not cheap. A much better and more efficient way to learn the lingo is to establish a local social circle in a city you are interested, which can initially be done online through Orkut, the big social network in Brasil or join the various Brasil groups on FB. Chat every day with your friends in Brasil thorough Messenger, Skype etc...read Brazilian sites of interest to you, listen to Brazilian music which is the best by far in the world, watch Brazilian tv on cable or online to train your ear to recognize the various sounds in Portuguese which has some truly unique ones since Portuguese is a very tonal language with tons of nasal sounds. Even tough when you read Portuguese, if you speak/read Spanish or French, it's very close, but once spoken is completely different. Training your ear to differentiate and understand the various sounds and how they are pronounced is going to be your main challenge with Portuguese.

Using the above, I have self taught Portuguese and in the span of a year, I went from 0 to semi fluent. Now a few years later, I'm fluent in it without having taken a single lesson or stepping into a Portuguese class at all. I also used the above to self learn Italian to semi fluency from 0. A major part and factor in the speed of your success is going to be the level of interest you have in that language. That to me, at least with the languages I speak has been the single biggest factor. My interest in both Brasil and Italy were/have been extremely high so that definitely helped in motivating me to keep going learning it on my own solo.

As an example to illustrate this, I took Spanish in school in France in my early teens. Since I had no interest in it at the time, I couldn't speak much of it. It wasn't untill a full decade later when I got into Latin music here in Canada and into Latinas that my interest for Cervantes's language shot though the roof. Needless to say, my Spanish also went up by a mile as a result.

I'm trying to learn Mandarin since I plan on returning and living in China ASAP but since I have limited to interest in the culture or anything else bout China other than the biz opps there, I've been having the hardest time to focus on learning and making any progress with mandarin.

For someone like you YMG, who's smart and already has a good and solid base of French, I don't believe you would need to enrol in an intensive Portuguese course. Just immerse yourself in the culture, language, make some friends first online and then in person in Brasil and t wouldn't ate you less than a month to get up to speed to conversational fluency. Now Mandarin, that's a whole different beast...
(This post was last modified: 11-10-2013 11:23 PM by Vacancier Permanent.)
11-10-2013 11:01 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
Proyecto Linguistico in Xela, Guatemala.
http://www.hermandad.com/

Intensive daily one on one instruction, living with a host family, getting involved in local events. They organize day trips around the city, invite guest speakers to come in, have a plethora of books and movies in Spanish you can use to learn more in your free time. They have specialty courses in medical, legal, and business spanish, as well. You can also learn one of the Guatemalan indigenous languages there, K'i-che. One of the benefits of learning there is they speak with a very neutral accent, not that it's a huge thing, but compared to El Salvador and Mexico it's a noticeable difference.

There are plenty of other schools, which may be cheaper, be in a more exotic location. The Lonely Planet forums are probably full of recommendations. A couple of other schools have some awesome things attached to them, in addition to Spanish - language classes in the morning, surfing classes in the evening, for example. If you're serious about Spanish I'd check it out, if nothing else just for comparison.

However I will say that the time I spent learning Spanish with Proyecto Linguistico was time well spent. Five hours a day, five days a week, gives you roughly a semesters worth of language classes in two weeks, a month gives you a full year. Your mileage may vary with other schools and you might be in a more interesting location or have a greater range of gringos come through while you're there. At PLQ they don't give out answers just to make students feel comfortable, and won't waste your time with things such as making flashcards during the time you're paying for one on one attention. Having you live with a host family that doesn't speak English also helps you actually use what you've been learning.

I highly, highly recommend Proyecto Linguistico.

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(This post was last modified: 11-10-2013 11:22 PM by Alpharius.)
11-10-2013 11:22 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
youngmobileglobal Wrote:I think it's critically important to do an intensive and concentrated immersion program if you are serious about learning a language. None of this "learn it slowly and passively over 2 years while stopping to smell the roses" bullcrap. Who has time for that?

The Goethe Institut for German is pretty awesome, you can stay for probably six months (the visas aren't terribly cheap unfortunately) and get a decent level of fluency. Five days a week, classes from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM (depending of course), variety of locations, big cities and small towns, and the teachers are always friendly and patient. I had a great time at these schools.

http://www.goethe.de/enindex.htm

The brain is sort of a pipe, it can only take up so much information at a time.
If you do a serious intensive course for like two months you'll probably retain less than you would over the span of a fifteen minute smoke break every work day for a year. 'Immersion courses' while starting from nothing sort of ignores how the brain works. YMG I'm not sure if you've learned any languages yet or done any prepwork so this is just a rant.

The net investment of a two month course is higher (two months vacation? insane) than fifteen or twenty minutes of flash cards and grammar chapters per day for a year.

If you're serious about learning a language then being dense and efficient about it simply shouldn't matter, you wouldn't care if you became fluent in 3 months as opposed to 5 years as long as it happened. I don't understand the attitude that language acquisition must happen quickly. Does everyone have to prove that they're smart? "Oh, I started speaking Mandarin "fluently" inside of three months, guess I'm a genius" ?

If anything, greater commitment is showed by taking twelve months to methodically go through a serious grammar book, maybe 1500 flash cards, and learning a lot of conjugation and tenses (among other particulars). Persistence will give you the gains that immersion will promise but fail to deliver.

Once you have a strong foundation of nouns, verbs, grammar rules, and common phrases built, you can go to your immersion course and school the shit out of your peers - really fine-tune your understanding of the language and pick up on some of the more advanced material (saves you lots of money and effort!) while your peers are still struggling with the basics -- those basics being easy shit they should have studied before they even bothered to show up. The brain is a pipe and there's a finite rate of information storage - in short if you're going to an immersion school to learn vocabulary then you're doing it wrong.

Procrastinating on learning at least the words of a language because you "don't have time for an immersion course right now" is part of the issue here, methinks.

Even mastering 500 vocabulary words with flash cards right now would give you an enormous edge once you get to immersion school.

Go the lazy route and get a big box of language flash cards from Amazon right now, take out 1/10th of them, and carry them around in a plastic cigarette case and read them every day at work.

"Anki" can be good but keep a wary eye out for errors.
(This post was last modified: 11-10-2013 11:47 PM by Hades.)
11-10-2013 11:27 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-10-2013 11:27 PM)Hades Wrote:  
youngmobileglobal Wrote:I think it's critically important to do an intensive and concentrated immersion program if you are serious about learning a language. None of this "learn it slowly and passively over 2 years while stopping to smell the roses" bullcrap. Who has time for that?

The Goethe Institut for German is pretty awesome, you can stay for probably six months (the visas aren't terribly cheap unfortunately) and get a decent level of fluency. Five days a week, classes from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM (depending of course), variety of locations, big cities and small towns, and the teachers are always friendly and patient. I had a great time at these schools.

http://www.goethe.de/enindex.htm

The brain is sort of a pipe, it can only take up so much information at a time.
If you do a serious intensive course for like two months you'll probably retain less than you would over the span of a fifteen minute smoke break every work day for a year. 'Immersion courses' while starting from nothing sort of ignores how the brain works. YMG I'm not sure if you've learned any languages yet or done any prepwork so this is just a rant.

The net investment of a two month course is higher (two months vacation? insane) than fifteen or twenty minutes of flash cards and grammar chapters per day for a year.

If you're serious about learning a language then being dense and efficient about it simply shouldn't matter, you wouldn't care if you became fluent in 3 months as opposed to 5 years as long as it happened. I don't understand the attitude that language acquisition must happen quickly. Does everyone have to prove that they're smart? "Oh, I started speaking Mandarin "fluently" inside of three months, guess I'm a genius" ?

If anything, greater commitment is showed by taking twelve months to methodically go through a serious grammar book, maybe 1500 flash cards, and learning a lot of conjugation and tenses (among other particulars). Persistence will give you the gains that immersion will promise but fail to deliver.

Once you have a strong foundation of nouns, verbs, grammar rules, and common phrases built, you can go to your immersion course and school the shit out of your peers - really fine-tune your understanding of the language and pick up on some of the more advanced material (saves you lots of money and effort!) while your peers are still struggling with the basics -- those basics being easy shit they should have studied before they even bothered to show up. The brain is a pipe and there's a finite rate of information storage - in short if you're going to an immersion school to learn vocabulary then you're doing it wrong.

Procrastinating on learning at least the words of a language because you "don't have time for an immersion course right now" is part of the issue here, methinks.

Even mastering 500 vocabulary words with flash cards right now would give you an enormous edge once you get to immersion school.

Go the lazy route and get a big box of language flash cards from Amazon right now, take out 1/10th of them, and carry them around in a plastic cigarette case and read them every day at work.

"Anki" can be good but keep a wary eye out for errors.

All the languages listed are languages in which I have already reached at least an intermediate level of proficiency (except Portuguese). I am not learning any of these from scratch - even with Portuguese I can understand about 40% of basic articles when I read them and the grammar is very similar to Spanish/French.

I have been using them on and off for the last 5 years or so (depending on the language).

Due to this on/off nature and the informal way in which I learned most of these languages, I have big gaps in random areas that I would like to tackle in an intensive immersion environment.

I would be entering these programs knowing precisely where my weaknesses are, precisely where I'd want to be after 2-6 months, and be able to work on coming up with a syllabus for my personalized education.
11-11-2013 02:24 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
Two more I just heard about:

Buenos Aires - http://www.elebaires.com/

Rio de Janeiro - http://www.puc-rio.br/english/internatio...guese.html
11-12-2013 12:16 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-10-2013 11:22 PM)Osiris Wrote:  Proyecto Linguistico in Xela, Guatemala.
http://www.hermandad.com/

Osiris, what's the internet like there in Xela? Alternatively, do they have a 3/4G mobile network that one could use for internet?

I can't have sex with your personality, and I can't put my penis in your college degree, and I can't shove my fist in your childhood dreams, so why are you sharing all this information with me?
11-12-2013 12:53 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-12-2013 12:53 AM)Soma Wrote:  
(11-10-2013 11:22 PM)Osiris Wrote:  Proyecto Linguistico in Xela, Guatemala.
http://www.hermandad.com/

Osiris, what's the internet like there in Xela? Alternatively, do they have a 3/4G mobile network that one could use for internet?

Here's what I was able to dig up.
http://xelawho.com/?page_id=32
I remember the Black Cat being the place where a lot of backpackers and tourists would set up camp, so I'd imagine that'd be your best bet.

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11-12-2013 11:31 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-12-2013 12:16 AM)youngmobileglobal Wrote:  Two more I just heard about:

Buenos Aires - http://www.elebaires.com/

Rio de Janeiro - http://www.puc-rio.br/english/internatio...guese.html

Hey buddy. How much does that Rio program cost?

Here's a similar program in Curitiba through the Universidade Federal do Parana - http://www.celin.ufpr.br/index.php/infor...odalidades

Each course is $880.00 Reais and includes 120 hours of training for 2 months (3 hours a day Mon-Friday). It's a great deal as it's a good business hub 5 hours away from Sao Paulo. The catch is that you need to be in your home country to process your student visa, which includes sufficient funds, criminal record, etc etc.

I talked to Ex-Pats in Curitiba as they said most of the students are business people or employees sent by Asian companies, which is especially important with the growing business relationships between theirs (Japan, China, and Korea) and Latin America.

Clip done by Korean students at Celin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J_kOx0GD...Q&index=78

I don't know too much about Porto Alegre's program though they offer something similar. I do however know that Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) offers this same exact program though the classes are a slower 4 months each instead of 2 meaning you have to pay for more months of rent.

Whatever the case, taking a course through an actual university in Brazil is much cheaper and a better deal than $30.00 per hour from a language institution. Did I also mention a better portfolio builder as well?

Yb13
(This post was last modified: 11-12-2013 12:30 PM by Brosemite.)
11-12-2013 12:29 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-12-2013 12:29 PM)yb13 Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 12:16 AM)youngmobileglobal Wrote:  Two more I just heard about:

Buenos Aires - http://www.elebaires.com/

Rio de Janeiro - http://www.puc-rio.br/english/internatio...guese.html

Hey buddy. How much does that Rio program cost?

Here's a similar program in Curitiba through the Universidade Federal do Parana - http://www.celin.ufpr.br/index.php/infor...odalidades

Each course is $880.00 Reais and includes 120 hours of training for 2 months (3 hours a day Mon-Friday). It's a great deal as it's a good business hub 5 hours away from Sao Paulo. The catch is that you need to be in your home country to process your student visa, which includes sufficient funds, criminal record, etc etc.

I talked to Ex-Pats in Curitiba as they said most of the students are business people or employees sent by Asian companies, which is especially important with the growing business relationships between theirs (Japan, China, and Korea) and Latin America.

Clip done by Korean students at Celin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J_kOx0GD...Q&index=78

I don't know too much about Porto Alegre's program though they offer something similar. I do however know that Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) offers this same exact program though the classes are a slower 4 months each instead of 2 meaning you have to pay for more months of rent.

Whatever the case, taking a course through an actual university in Brazil is much cheaper and a better deal than $30.00 per hour from a language institution. Did I also mention a better portfolio builder as well?

Yb13

Here you can find more about courses in Rio: http://www.surfhostel.net/category/language-surfing/ , as well as courses in Spanish / French countries where you study languages if you want to compare prices a little bit. All of them include surf possibilities as well
(This post was last modified: 11-12-2013 06:58 PM by mastauser.)
11-12-2013 06:58 PM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I'll procrastinate on my spanish studies to comment on this thread.....

Getting fluent in such a short time is going to take about 3 solid hours a day of deliberate practice (not including time zoning out, and refocusing), for at least 6 months. It´s probably a random number, but there is a tipping point somewhere above 2 hours of deliberate practice where you learn something much more quickly. Adding a few hours of passive exposure and immersion would be good. Music, TV, Movies, Newspapers....and of course cutting off from english Setting wikipedia to spanish, bbc news to spanish, etc.

I concur with what VP said. Communicating on a daily basis with native speakers either in person, through text, or video chat is critical. Having content in the language you find fascinating is also super super important. If you´re into a spanish novelist, or literary period, bingo. If you love spanish history, etc.

I´m in a similar position with Spanish in terms of having holes in my knowledge. I had four years of it in highschool, got mostly A´s, but now I´m finding myself going over basics. It´s important to use multiple grammar methods to cover up deficiencies. I´m currently going through Study Spanish . com, then I´m going to go over the same material with the Practice Makes Perfect series. On top of that I´m using Pimsleur, which I find is basically just review. I´ve got multiple readers (essentially spanish content that gets progressively more difficult). I'm also communicating with a bunch of latinas via iphone, and online.

I´m using Anki for flashcards, plus physical flashcards, notepad for typed up notes, and a physical notebook for physical notes. It´s nice to have all the mediums covered and be extremely engaged.

As for the specific question of which immersion schools are out there, I'm also interested in this. I'm curious how necessary it is over going to a normal school. Ultimately your passion quotient determines how much you will learn.

If tomorrow RVF was only in spanish, you would probably achieve native fluency in a month
(This post was last modified: 11-13-2013 03:10 AM by Tenerife.)
11-13-2013 03:08 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I speak a bunch of languages moderately OK, including most on your list. If you want to do this on the cheap, just move to the country where they speak the language you want to learn, enroll in a course you find while there (i.e. not one catering to people from abroad.. one catering to people who live there like recent immigrants), then walk around and talk to people when you're not in class.

For one language, we had class 3 nights a week for 3 hours at a time, and by the end of 2 months, I could get around pretty well in it.

If you can't move, then get a tutor, or a class+tutor, but don't skip on the tutor part. For one language I just learned, I found a native speaker at a nearby university, and would go to campus to meet with her 2x a week for an hour. 1 hour of one-on-one tutoring = 2-3 hours of class lessons. The nice thing with a tutor is you can decide what to learn. So in class they may be going over some useless stuff (like the word for your mother's second oldest brother -- some languages have a specific word for this), meanwhile with a tutor I'm learning how to introduce myself when arriving for a business meeting, while also apologizing for my delay due to traffic.

That said, immersion is the best way to learn of course. I was just in China and my Mandarin improved more in 2 weeks than it did in 2 months of study at home.
11-13-2013 04:31 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
YMG,

Be careful what advice you listen to in this thread.

You have widely varying viewpoints ranging from the apparent neuroscientist 'Hades' who after sharing his opinions on the brain, gives us his belief that you're best to learn over 1-5 years, to 'paninaro' who reports that he did a 2 month course that totalled around 80 hours and only reached a basic level.

The range of reactions reminds me of this recent ROK post, in particular this quote:

Quote:Let’s face it: we don’t know nearly as much as we think we do, and we rely way too much on hearsay. Then, we take that likely false information and share it with our friends over drinks, when there’s nothing better to talk about. Perhaps it’s time we realized how little we know and start looking for more reliable answers to our questions.

If you want to take advice make sure it is from people who have walked the walk, and not just talked the talk, otherwise the advice may very well be worthless. As far as I can tell the only ones in this thread who can be counted on for advice are Vacancier Permanent & Osiris. Paninaro having spent 2 months and only achieving basic level may be able to advice on what NOT to do for language immersion (paninaro, this is not a cheap shot at you, it's just it seems that at 9 hours per week you didn't work very intensively). As far as online resources go one of the few sources that stands out for me as someone who has a record of rapid language acquisition is Benny from http://fluentin3months.com/

I'm interested to hear more from people who have actually DONE intensive language learning with success.
11-13-2013 08:32 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I have a question for anyone who has actually done intensive language immersion:

If you have experiences with both classes and private tutors what would you say gave you the greatest benefit in terms of learning capacity? Is there any upside from skipping formal classes and instead just doing a lot of work with tutors, conversely is there upside inherent to doing formal schooling in an intensive program that includes a mix of group classes and private tutoring?


I ask this because you can get a private tutor anywhere in South America for $10-12/hour, and less in Guatemala, some of the formal courses actually exceed this cost. For example the 'super-intensive' course at the Buenos Aires school YMG posted at $1,499 for 120 hours works out to be $12.50/hour. At lot of schools in Colombian cities also work out to be as expensive as private tutoring.
11-13-2013 08:49 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
On a related note, this guy famously taught himself Japanese to native level.... all by himself in America!

http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/about
11-13-2013 08:53 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I did language immersion with some success: I can speak Spanish quite ok. Planning a new immersion school.

But a major mistake is that people don't learn vocabulary, e.g. reading newspapers and books/websites and translate words, try to write your own sentences, and so on.

but I had a background: Latin, French and had Spanish in one year. Sometimes still watching Spanish movies and improving my vocabalary.

a mistake a lot of people on those immersion schools make is the paradigm that 'practice makes perfect', so just speaking with natives is enough. Where it is true in one sense, everybody forgets the equally important aspect of STUDYING a language.

I have to say that immersion schools have huge benefits: you create sentences in past time, present, future etc, and that is REALLY useful i.m.o regarding conversation and creating sentences. But don't just rely on them.
11-13-2013 09:43 AM
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RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
^^ mastauser - agreed wholeheartedly. True immersion is great for listening and knowing how to speak idiomatically, but learning all the verb conjugations while writing sentences endlessly in say a library for consecutive hours utilizing
A) different tenses,
B) adjectives,
C) adverbs, and
D) conjunctions

is the best way to accumulate a language all while repeating the sentences to yourself consistently as if you were that weird autistic guy everybody is staring at. Notice I left out "nouns," which are of course very important too but those can always be looked up as those verb conjugations, adjectives, etc are more critical because describing a situation while connecting thoughts/feelings/actions is a must.

I took a university-based intensive Portuguese class in the US that was 6 hours a week for 8 months covering almost 3 years worth of material as my training utilizing those methods helped my retention level & proficiency big time. I also took 4 Spanish classes during that time as well so I'm sure I can really build upon that foundation if I was as passionate about that though I have mastered all the key conjugations like past subjunctive, conditional, & future.

Just letting you guys this is what worked from me...and this is also coming from a dude who can't remember 3 years of French studies & is still not literate in Mandarin though fluent, haha. So I'm aware of what doesn't work first hand too.
11-13-2013 11:17 AM
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Post: #18
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
Having a conscious understanding of grammar is an "unpopular" position to have in the eyes of many, since many people will say it's unnatural. Of course, children learn without a conscious understanding, but as adults, a conscious understanding of grammar is essential for faster learning. As already mentioned, writing sentences with all the verb conjugations, translating sentences into and from spanish, etc., is extremely important. It's hard though. It makes your brain come to a halt some times, but that's when true learning takes place, not when you casually peruse a list of words without engaging with the material on this deep level.
11-13-2013 12:25 PM
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Brosemite
Brosemite Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-13-2013 12:25 PM)Tenerife Wrote:  Having a conscious understanding of grammar is an "unpopular" position to have in the eyes of many, since many people will say it's unnatural. Of course, children learn without a conscious understanding, but as adults, a conscious understanding of grammar is essential for faster learning. As already mentioned, writing sentences with all the verb conjugations, translating sentences into and from spanish, etc., is extremely important. It's hard though. It makes your brain come to a halt some times, but that's when true learning takes place, not when you casually peruse a list of words without engaging with the material on this deep level.

Bingo.

As my professor once said, you need to know what, if, when, where, and especially why while learning a language as an adult because we've already been programmed into thinking based on an overdose of prior experiences whereas natural immersion is only really possible for an adolescent who can learn everything subconsciously while not being tied down to the past.
(This post was last modified: 11-13-2013 02:58 PM by Brosemite.)
11-13-2013 02:49 PM
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Wreckingball Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
(11-10-2013 09:20 PM)youngmobileglobal Wrote:  The program should be "live at the school and learn (language) for 20-40 hours per week and in 3 months you'll be totally conversationally fluent"

Most schools will only give you 20 hours a week and in 3 months you will never be conversationally fluent in any of those languages.
You can be for portuguese/spanish if you are fluent in one of them.

3 months will give you A2.1 (20h week) or tops B1.2 (40h week) which is not enough for any kind of fluency.
11-13-2013 04:01 PM
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RichieP Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I think it's possible to rapidly absorb languages through immersion - but Im not convinced schools are the answer. There's no reason to think that school teaching methods are particularly efficient. "Immersion" in that context usually just means more hours studying per week, and schools put alot of focus on formal grammar study and writing. That's not gonna get you there.

However there ARE immersive techniques that can work. One popular technique is Listening-Reading (LR). You can find out alot more about that on the HTLAL forums (How-To-Learn-Any-Language.com) and the blogs of various language-geek polyglots who've really mastered this stuff. It basically involves soaking the language up a few hours a day simultaneously reading and listening to material (e.g. book + audiobook) in a foreign language, and using carefully graded materials that progress in complexity.

There are plenty of reports of smart self-learners getting conversation in a language in 8-12 weeks with these methods. It's hard going though and you've really gotta be smart about your strategy.

Personally what I've found accelerated my learning is going through a Michel Thomas course or similar to quickly hack and internalise grammar structures (rather than formally learn rules), and then moving on to soaking up the language ("furnishing the house") either through living there or a vocab course like Assimil for example.

That said, of the languages I tackled I didn't learn any one particularly quickly. But I certainly think my per-hour rate of language acquisition was pretty good.
(This post was last modified: 11-13-2013 06:46 PM by RichieP.)
11-13-2013 06:39 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
i spent 2 semesters in an immersion course in china, 20 hours a week, 17 weeks per semester.
fluent in 3 months is not realistic.
11-13-2013 07:28 PM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I think it can be done in such a short amount of time, perhaps 5 months. YMG is not learning from scratch but rather improving his intermediate
skills.

"May get ugly at times. But we get by. Real Niggas never die." - cdr
11-13-2013 08:25 PM
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patron Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
I did a 2 week immersion class with a home stay when i first moved to the DR. I think the cost was around $800. 4 hours a day. which was really 3 hours 20 minutes because they said the classes were 50 minutes with a 10 minute break. I don't think it was worth the money. I didn't learn that much stuff.
11-13-2013 08:40 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Rapid Language Acquisition - Intensive Immersion Schools
i guess it also depends on how you define "fluent" i think i have high standards for what counts as fluent
11-13-2013 09:36 PM
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