What Are Spanish Immersion Programs And Is One Of Them Right For You...
Hello all. This is Jeff here from Springfield, Missouri. If you're here reading this page then chances are you're like me and you have some interest in learning the Spanish language. If you're really serious about learning Spanish, then you may have considered, or maybe should consider, participating in one of the many Spanish Immersion Programs that are available.
First, let me address what I mean by being "really serious" about learning Spanish. By being really serious about learning Spanish, I'm referring to the desire to be fluent in the language. And by being fluent, what I mean is this. Being fluent means not only to be able to read and write and speak in a language, but also to be able to listen to a native speaker of that language and understand them as well. Being able to listen to a native speaker and understand them is the biggest and last hurdle to becoming fluent in a language.
Okay, so let's say you want to be fluent in Spanish. Maybe you think you could never be fluent, or you think maybe that's a pipe dream, something you would like to be but probably never will. If that is you, then you might very well want to look at Spanish immersion programs.
What are Spanish immersion programs? Spanish immersion programs are opportunities to study a language abroad at one of many of the Spanish immersion schools that exist in various Spanish speaking countries. Quite simply, when you attend a Spanish immersion program, you go overseas to a Spanish speaking country where you will live, attend language classes, and potentially live with a native family in order to become fluent in Spanish. Spanish immersion programs are given their name because you are essentially being immersed in the language. When you are away at a Spanish immersion program, you are to speak the Spanish language only. Speaking any other language is discouraged. This causes your brain to have to think in Spanish all of the time. Spanish immersion programs are considered to be one of the most rapid ways to increase your fluency in Spanish.
Practical Considerations: Time And Money
There are many practical matters to take into consideration when you are thinking about a Spanish immersion program. Let's look at some of the obvious ones.
Time You have to be in a place and situation in your life where you have the flexibility to actually spend a number of weeks abroad to study Spanish. The vast majority of people do not have the flexibility to do this. Most people have full time jobs or are raising children or have some other responsibility that requires them to not be away from home for the extended period of time required for a Spanish immersion program. Ideally, you need to be a student that is off for summer break, someone who is between jobs and just happens to have a lot of extra cash, and be someone without any dependents.
Money There are going to be some expenses involved. First of all is airfare. You will have to pay for your round trip airfare to whatever country you will be studying in. And, it could very well be that the airfare may be your biggest expense, even moreso than the Spanish immersion school itself! Then, naturally, there's the tuition of the school. This can vary significantly. This will depend on two different things: the tuition rate of the school you attend, and the length of time you choose to stay in the program (usually a matter of weeks). Some Spanish immersion schools will require a significant amount of cash for the tuition, while others can be very inexpensive and affordable. It all depends on which country you choose to study in. (At the time of this writing, it is possible to pay around $125 to $150 per week for your Spanish immersion school in poorer countries such as Honduras and Guatemala).
Okay, now let's just say that for some of the practical considerations listed above, that participating in one of the many available Spanish immersion programs is just not right for you. If that is the case, don't feel badly. That is the case for most people.
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Choosing a country and school
Choosing which country you'd like to study in and which Spanish immersion school to attend really has to do with your personal preferences, i.e. where you are interested in visiting; and how much money you have to spend, i.e. going where you can afford to go.
If you live in the United States, your basic options are Spain, Mexico, and South America. Naturally studying overseas in Spain will cost more in airfare than Mexico or South America. And even further still, it will be less expensive to travel to Mexico than anywhere in South America. So, if finances are an issue, your budget may play a part in your choice of where to attend.
Regarding which country you would like to visit, there are Spanish immersion programs in almost every Spanish speaking country in the world. If you have your heart set on visiting a particular country, then you can find a Spanish immersion school in that country and see if it is to your liking. Additionally, some organizations coordinate many different Spanish immersion schools and even allow you to spend a number of weeks at one school in one country and then later travel on and spend time at another school in another country.
The more expensive schools will have instructors that hold a higher level of education than the instructors at the less expensive schools if that is a concern for you. Practically speaking, however, if you are learning Spanish as a second language, the educational level of your Spanish speaking instructor is not likely to make too much of a difference.
Choosing a country and school is really up to your preference and your budget.
Do You Know Any Spanish Already?When looking at the promotional materials from any Spanish immersion school, you will find that they say that they are able to accommodate students of any skill level, even beginners. However, if you don't know a lick of Spanish, then a Spanish immersion program likely is not for you.
It would be much better for you to have taken at least some Spanish classes or lessons or training before attending a Spanish immersion school. That way you will have at least some idea and comprehension of Spanish grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Without that, attending a Spanish immersion program will be very frustrating as it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with anyone. A Spanish immersion program will be extremely challenging for someone who knows a bit of Spanish, but could very likely be a bad experience for someone who doesn't know any Spanish at all.
What If A Spanish Immersion Program Is Not Right For YouSo what do you do if you can't afford a Spanish immersion program, or you don't know any Spanish, or you feel like you don't know enough Spanish?
There are a variety of Spanish language software packages available that allow you to study Spanish at home at your own pace. There are cheapie department store products and very expensive high end products that cost $300 or more. I did some research an tried to find a high quality product that is as good or better than the expensive programs but yet not quite so expensive. I was hoping to find a good balance between quality and cost therefore finding a great value.
Well what I found is Rocket Spanish Premium. In my opinion it is as good or even better than those expensive products. Rocket Spanish Premium is produced by a company called Rocket Languages and they make language products for numerous languages: French, German, Russian, you name it.
Okay, now get this: the reason they can offer a product that exceeds the quality of those expensive courses is because they offer the entire package in a digital / downloadable format. Now don't get me wrong here: Rocket Spanish Premium is not in any way inferior to the expensive products just because it's all downloadable. As a matter of fact: you can get Rocket Spanish Premium as an actual physical product delivered to your house, but it will cost nearly as much as those expensive products if you purchase it as a physical product.
Let me tell you what sweetened this deal even further. When I looked into Rocket Spanish Premium, I discovered that, at the time, they were running a half off promotion on their downloadable product. Yeah, that's right, 50% of the regular price!
Rocket Spanish Premium is not just a bunch of audios that you listen to in your car.. It's also not a boring Spanish grammar software package that makes you do repetitive grammar exercises in some kind of workbook. Instead, Rocket Spanish Premium is a Spanish language course that is computer based, interactive, multimedia rich, and is comprehensive enough to meet the needs of both beginning and advanced students. Not only that, but the way that the material is presented makes it fun and interesting.
The truth is, after seeing all that Rocket Spanish Premium had to offer, combined with their half off promotion, purchasing it was a no brainer. When it comes down to how much you get for your money, nothing delivers like Rocket Spanish Premium. There are so many benefits that Rocket Spanish Premium offers above and beyond those $300 courses that it's very difficult for me to relate all of them to you here, but I'll give it my best shot.
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And right now, they are still offering the full course at half price. I'm not sure how long this discount will last, so take advantage of it while you can.
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