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Guide To Spanish Immersion At Home & In Class

I was asked a couple of months ago to give any suggestions on ways to make language acquisition easier, and my answer was “immersion.”

Many people think that immersion means being in a Spanish-speaking country, or going out to Mexican restaurants and listening to people's conversations around you.

While this definitely fits the definition, I was referring to immersion tactics that take place in your bedroom, kitchen, car, etc.

With these methods that I am going to teach you in this article, you will be able to make routines that completely change your language learning journey by making it easier and more authentic.

Are you ready to jump into the best immersion techniques?

¡Empecemos! (Let’s start!)

cartoon woman listening to music with a title that says "Spanish Immersion"

Summary: The Best Spanish Immersion Tactics For The Home & The Classroom

If you want to get immersed in the Spanish language, whether you’re looking for methods to improve your own study sessions at home, or you're a teacher looking for new ideas, here are my favorite recommendations that I use daily:

  • Watch a movie or series in Spanish (Suggestions provided below based on your level)

  • Change your device’s language to Spanish

  • Label items in your home or classroom to make strong connections to the words

  • Journal daily in Spanish with the help of Google Translate

  • Write your to-do lists/agendas in Spanish (Using Google Translate)

  • Play Spanish music in the background whenever you don’t need silence

  • Cook a Spanish/Mexican/etc. recipe to bond with the culture

  • Watch comprehensible input videos (YouTube Channel suggestions provided below)

Watch A Movie Or Series In Spanish

Peoplewatching a movie together

This may seem like an obvious one, I’ll give you that, but are you doing it often? Watching movies or series improves your accent, vocabulary, and cultural understanding a lot.

Now if you are a beginner, you need something simple enough to understand, yet difficult enough to learn from and enjoy.

My suggestion for beginners - The Easy Spanish Series, a free series made for Spanish learners at the beginner stages. It’s like a sitcom for learners, you’ll love it!

My suggestion for intermediates - Watch one of the following: Movies/series that you have seen many times in English (Dubbed in Spanish with subtitles), check out a teen drama, or a cooking show.

My suggestion for advanced learners - Choose a dialect to focus on, if it’s the Mexican dialect for example, you’ll have tons of Telenovelas, Documentaries, Crime, and Comedy shows at your disposal.

Change Device Language Settings To Spanish

woman using her phone

Be it with the classroom computers, or your personal phone, one great way to immerse yourself in the Spanish language is to change your device's language to Spanish.

This will teach you mostly nouns but many of those nouns will have verb equivalents that you’ll be able to recognize because you already know the noun.

This also just helps by making you get comfortable looking at Spanish all of the time.

And if you want to learn all of the needed vocabulary before making the switch, there are only about 100 words that you will need to learn to completely understand your phone in Spanish.

Labeling Items In Your Home Or Classroom

woman putting sticky notes down on a table

This is a classic - labeling your items forces you to constantly see Spanish words and associate them with real physical objects. This is better than any Flashcard deck you can get.

You can even add example sentences with the word to learn even more.

For example, you put a sticky note on the window that says “Ventana” (Window), and then underneath you could write a couple sentences like “Voy a abrir la ventana” and “Voy a cerrar la ventana” (I am going to open the window + I am going to close the window).

Daily Journaling In Spanish (With G-Translate)

picture of my french journal

Alright, now this is my bread and butter! I have a book full of journal entries from when I was a beginner in Spanish, till when I reached fluency (B2).

When I look back, I see myself as a beginner seeing, writing, and acquiring new words that I use every single day now, it’s incredible.

Journaling teaches you the most necessary words that you need to express your thoughts, feelings, and desires.

If you want a technique to try out, give my TWRF Method a shot. TWRF stands for “Translate, Write, Read, Forget” and it works like this:

Translate your journal entry from English to Spanish using Google Translate.

Write the Spanish journal entry in your dedicated journal/notebook slowly, paying attention to the words that you are writing, their spelling, and the form the verbs are in.

Read the entry out loud if you can pronounce it, if not, use Google's “listen feature” and it will read it to you so that you can pronounce it in the future.

Forget about the journal entry and move on to another learning activity.

The thought process behind this method is to make an approach to acquiring a language that is completely non-invasive and to some degree enjoyable.

If you try out my method, let me know how it goes by shooting me an email or dropping a comment on this post!

Write Your To-Do Lists/Agendas In Spanish

As you can probably tell from the last suggestion, I’m big on making small routines that help me progress continuously without hurting my head. This is another one of those tactics/routines.

Daily I write my agendas 100% in French (The language I’m currently learning) and it teaches me the verbs and nouns that are needed to talk about my daily habits.

For example: “Write an article about immersion tactics, read for 30 minutes in Spanish, study French, record the video on the Panamanian Spanish dialect” etc.

If you want a passive method for learning how to talk about your habits, give this a shot.

Let Music Play In The Background

picture of a woman listening to music

When I was learning Spanish I always had music playing in the background, it almost gave my home a “Mexican restaurant-type vibe” and kept me in constant contact with the language.

Whether you do this while you’re cooking, cleaning, or filling out papers that don’t require complete focus, it will help you to acquire a better accent and vocabulary over time.

Another thing that this can do is form your “Spanish identity”, what I mean by that is, when you are constantly in contact with the language and culture you begin to feel part of it.

Of course, this is extremely important because it will make you feel part of something greater than yourself, and it will give you more motivation to progress further.

Cook A Spanish/Mexican/Argentine (etc.) Recipe

picture of two women laughing and cooking together

One way we can all develop our cultural understanding and bond with the language is by creating our own lesson plans out of a recipe.

If you can't read a full recipe in Spanish, then just write down the ingredients in Spanish and say them to yourself when you use them.

This method, like with the sticky notes, will also develop extremely strong connections between the words and physical objects.

Whereas Flashcards can help you “remember” a word, these methods will help you “internalize” the word - and when a word is internalized, there's no need to “remember” it, you just say it.

Watching Comprehensible Videos On YouTube

If you have never heard of the term “Comprehensible input” - it’s defined as messages that are understood, yet are of a higher level than that of the listener.

My personal definition - content that you understand 65-85% of. If you understand less, you won't acquire, if you understand more, you’ll acquire at a lower speed.

Comprehensible Input YouTube channels have become sort of a big deal recently in the language learning community, and for good reason!

On each of these channels, I am going to recommend that you aim to accomplish the same goal, keep the video 100% in Spanish while making it comprehensible for lower-level learners - and they even have more advanced content too.

These channels are:

Spanish Immersion Tactics For The Home & Classroom

I hope this article helped give you some ideas when you put them into practice - shoot me a message and tell me how it’s going!

If you want all of these tactics in one place to write them down, scroll up to the top and you'll see them all listed under the "Summary" section.

If you want other methods that I use: Check out this article about all 13 methods that I used to get fluent in Spanish.

Thanks for stopping by, and keep acquiring the language.

Your friend, Ben.


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