What is “Immersion-Based” Learning?
Experience Based Learning Spanish Cooking Class

Immersion-Based Learning System.

Right away you are probably asking yourself, “What exactly is this guy talking about when he says immersion-based learning system?” Well I’m glad you asked and let me answer by giving some real world examples, then I’ll explain how this relates directly to learning a new language.

Real-World Example of “Immersion-Based” Learning

Picture for a moment: You and your friend are out rock climbing and your friend is just about to start the ascent while you are on the belay (the job associated with making sure if your friend falls he/she doesn’t fall to the ground and go splat!) Now, an instructor shows you the all-important knot to tie to your friend’s harness, allows you to practice several times, and then has you tie the knot. Well right now your friend’s life is in your hands and it’s safe to assume that not only will you pay attention, but you will have to really learn this knot and will arguably remember how to do it for weeks, months, or years later. This is because you truly experienced the knot. You were forced out of your comfort zone, put under some pressure with professional guidance, and came out completely knowing the skill. Now imagine that you just learned how to tie the knot by reading it from a book with descriptions and pictures. You don’t even have a rope in your hands and you’ve never actually tied the knot. Which method do you think is more efficient, long lasting, and easier to learn? Most would say the immersion based method. This same method applies with every single type of learning on any subject. You can’t learn to paint by simply looking at paintings. You have to get your hands dirty, make mistakes, and learn through action. That’s precisely what we do at City Speakeasy and how we teach our students foreign languages in New York City. Before I get more into the process of our system, allow me to introduce myself further and how this concept came to be.

 

How it All Started

My friends and I live in New York City, and we had two objectives on the mind: learn French and meet new friends outside of the bar scene. We knew we didn’t want just another French course that resembled a high school language class with memorization activities and mundane worksheets. So we scoured the internet for a class that sounded fun, hip, and for adults. We didn’t find exactly what we were looking for but we chose the closest thing we could find. Week one was alright, week two was…meh, week three and we were bored out of our minds! It was high school all over again. We had fun people in the class, but the class itself would bore you to tears. So we suggested that the whole group go out to happy hour after class and practice French. I asked the company if they would like to fund a round or two for their valued customers but received a very negative response. Ouch! So it hit us! People like to have fun, meet new people and want to learn new languages. Why not combine all of this into an organized course that blends learning the fundamentals of a language with real life application? The City Speakeasy “Immersion-Based” learning system does just that.

 

How Our Proprietary City Speakeasy “Immersion-Based” Learning System Works

We strike the absolute perfect balance between interactive in-class lessons with out of class ‘Immersion Events’. Think wine tastings while learning French, cooking class while learning Spanish, dining out while learning Italian, dancing, happy hours, and more. You will journey through this course with 11 other awesome language lovers just like you and will come out with a solid understanding of the language all while doing amazing, practical events. Arguably one of the hardest aspects of learning a foreign language is creating original thoughts in a social situation. Over time, anyone can accurately fill out worksheets, or memorize a large amount of vocabulary or even speak a memorized script. But very few have the ability to put together their own sentences when it counts! Why is this? It’s because people have very few opportunities to practice in a controlled, safe, but very real and social situation. Usually it’s when talking to locals for the first time or speaking with people who are already fluent. It can be very nerve wracking, stressful, and embarrassing if you make a mistake. It’s such a shame because that’s exactly where the most learning occurs!

The Benefits to the Student Learning Through Action

Students benefit dramatically from our learning system because we provide that controlled environment with a professional instructor while you can confidently and safely practice your language in front of your (new) friends. The result is a dramatically shortened learning curve and a much higher level of retention.

Here’s an example of one of our favorite classes: wine tasting with a professional sommelier. It’s a two hour course where the first hour is spent learning relevant wine vocab such as colors, flavors, types of fruit, smells. You’ll also learn nouns such as bottle, glass, cork, etc….and finally learn common wine related phrases such as “this wine tastes like______”, I prefer this wine because ______” or I smell _____, _____ and ______ in this wine”. Even conversational phrases such as “may I pour you another glass?” “Which wine is your favorite?” or “I think I’ve had too much!” The second hour is then spent with a professional sommelier that will then take you on a tour of French wines where you are given the opportunity to describe the wines, all in French. By conversing with your fellow students about the wine, you will be solidifying the knowledge through experience and real world application. Not to mention that you will have a blast doing it, which is very important when learning a new language. Through interactive, fun and real world scenarios you can dramatically speed up your language development while retaining far more information than traditional methods of learning.