Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Simulated immersion

Simulated immersion
What is simulated immersion?
Simulated immersion is based on the idea that the best way to improve your listening is to be immersed in the target language in a native speaking environment. In the absence of such an opportunity, we try to simulate the conditions that make immersion favorable.
 Those conditions are:

  • Large amounts of time spent simply hearing the language - several hours per week rather than mere minutes spent in a typical class
  • Maximal exposure to authentic texts
  • Exposure to a wide range of situations and language forms
  • Emphasis on bottom up processing to aid in real-life scenarios

Practical ideas
This is my daughter listening.

Hearing versus listening
In class, teachers invariably set tasks to accompany ‘listenings’. This is understandable - it would be a bit weird to simply press play and hope the students got some value from it.

But simply hearing a language - being exposed to it in the background, in the car, on the radio or TV, or in the form of music, for example, is extremely valuable. It’s a much looser, less structured form of practice than is found in class, but it acclimatizes the learner to the sound systems and structures of the language. I will call this type of listening passive listening.
 Tom Haytonfreelance teacher and trainer