< Create an English Language Immersion Experience
By Jill Robbins
30 November 2021

Have you ever seen an advertisement for a language immersion program? These programs can take place in a school or other location where a learner can practice using their second language in a natural setting. The language immersion situation forces the learner to use the new language throughout the day. They must try to communicate their ideas and understand native speakers. Speaking and hearing others use the language at meals, while shopping or taking part in other activities gives language learners valuable (and enjoyable) practice.

The use of new technologies can help you create your own immersion experiences. Below are some details on how you can plan an English immersion program for yourself and carry it out in your own home.

Follow these basic guidelines in making your program:

Step one: Know your starting level

It is best to know your ability level to create your immersion program. You can test yourself with a free online language test, like the EFSET test. After a period of time, you can take the same test again and see how much you improved. Knowing your level also lets you choose materials at the right level. The VOA English Challenge test on our website will give you a score on the Council of Europe's (CEFR) scale. That goes from A1 – C2.

Step two: Choose materials a little above your level

Immersion programs often include material that is at a little higher level than the material you normally use. On our website, for example, there are three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. If you have been reading at the Intermediate level for some time, try choosing readings from our Advanced level, such as American Stories.

Here are some ideas on how to find materials to help you practice the four language skills in English:

Reading and vocabulary

Here are some ideas for reading and vocabulary:


Here are some ideas for listening materials:


Here are some ideas for speaking:


Here are some ideas for writing:

Step three: change up your practice

On some days, put more of your effort toward reading and writing. On others, spend more time on listening and speaking. Try to avoid doing the same thing each day. And take a break now and then to rest your brain. Read our story on spacing and interleaving your learning for more on this topic.

Step four: make new friends and have fun

Through conversation clubs and the new activities that are part of your language immersion, you will probably find new friends. Speak English with them as often as you can.

Look for ways to make your immersion program fun, like inviting a friend or family member to join you.

I'm Jill Robbins.

Jill Robbins wrote this lesson for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

practice n. the activity of doing something again and again in order to become better at it

conversation – n. an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people

subtitles - n. (usually plural) words that appear on the screen during a movie, video, or television show and that are translations of what the actors are saying

fluentadj. able to speak a language easily and very well

Have you ever tried to learn through language immersion? How was it? Would you like to make your own immersion program? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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