When learning a foreign language, the brain is overwhelmed with the complex sounds and symbols that make up the language. Complete submersion is the best way to learn a language because it forces the brain to work entirely in the new language. Imagine when a child is young and doesn’t technically have a command of language, yet instead communicates with squeals and noises. Slowly, by listening to the same phrases being said over and over again, he or she begins to pick up pieces. It may be one word at a time or maybe even a phrase, but the brain slowly learns to comprehend this complex language without any formal training. The same occurs with older students, but it happens in a more conscious way because the brain isn’t as receptive as it once was to the intricacies of a new language. By forcing students to only think and respond in the new language, it is more likely they will be able to stop thinking and responding in the students’ native tongue. Operating in two different languages can be overwhelming and can significantly hinder the learning process.
Learning a foreign language from a native speaker also provides a certain advantage to students because they will hear an authentic accent and proper pronunciation. Many languages have small, subtle rules that are completely lost on foreigners. A native speaker is much more likely to be able to explain these rules than someone who didn’t grow up speaking the language.
Learning Language and Culture Simultaneously:
There is more to a new language than differences in pronunciation and words. A language is infused with an entirely different culture, which can only be learned and appreciated when exposed to it. Learning a foreign language from someone who speaks the language will expose the student to cultural oddities. While knowing how to speak formally in a language is good, some students may find themselves overwhelmed when confronted with a native speaker who uses slang or speaks in a certain dialect.
In many cultures, language is used in particular ways to demonstrate respect
Because this is unique to every culture, learning from a native speaker will help a student to learn and appreciate these particularities, which will help avoid potentially embarrassing situations should they encounter a native speaker or travel to that particular country.
Learning a language from a native speaker can also help to boost a student’s confidence because it eliminates the one thing people fear the most – the fear of the unknown. Every student of a foreign language fears the day they will have to attempt to speak to a native speaker because native speakers generally talk much faster and have authentic accents. Fear of the unknown often holds a student back because they are afraid of embarrassing themselves. By learning directly from a native speaker, students become comfortable with the idea of making mistakes and having difficulties understanding words and phrases the first time around. They learn that it is okay to ask for someone to repeat something or slow down.
Learning and Reviewing Subject Material in Your Preferred Language:
Once people have a command of more than one language, they communicate with each other in the language they feel most comfortable. This ability translates into tremendous benefits for students who want to take their academic skills to the next level! As students from all backgrounds strive for academic excellence, they often engage with students and tutors to help them reach their academic goals. Working together with students who together can relate through shared culture and language, can make learning experiences more positive and rewarding!