We all have heard about Language Immersion. There are people defining it as "the best way to learn a language", and it is probably true. However, who doesn´t know somebody living for a long time in a foreign country and not able to talk the local language? Staying for a couple of months in Madrid or Granada does not make us able to speak a perfect spanish or to cook the best "tortilla" on earth. Learning a language requires effort and time, with or without language immersion.
What we can afirm is that it is the most joyful and natural way to learn a language, the same way we acquire our mother tongue from the cradle: listening, repeating, interacting, over and over. Learning a language while experiencing other things is not only more fun, but also more efficient and lasting.
But, is it necessary to move abroad to experience language immersion? In one word: No.
Immersion in a language means several things: reading, listening, interacting, gesticulating (sign language), and of course, talking. We can do all those things without moving from our coach, using the tools that Internet provides us with. Using videos, audios, podcasts, articles, pronunciation apps, flashcards (spaced repetition) and online tutoring we can achieve the same goals as being physically in a foreign country.
The figure of the online tutor with permanent email contact is a great complement to solve any problem the student could find in her/his self-directed learning. There are also several online tools specifically designed to each level of proficiency.
"Practice without feedback just makes perfect whatever you are practicing. The naïve learner does not have a perspective on what they are doing. It is really vital to have someone saying: yes, you are on track" James North.
And you, ¿what could you recommend us to improve Virtual Language Immersion?