IWTYAL 233: The dubious benefits of immersion
In this solo episode, Olly discusses whether immersion is all it's cracked up to be.
- Immersion is always held up as the “holy grail” of language learning
- Definition: Spending all day every day in a native-level environment
- It's not all it's cracked up to be
- Survival bias is at play:
- Katzumoto: 10,000 hours of Japanese
- Gabriel Wyner: 8 weeks in Middlebury
- Your friend who went to China and was fluent in 3 months
- Immersion only works if you are able to go full-on enough, for long enough, and stay positive enough to make it to be successful… not practical for most people
- As a study strategy, it leaves a lot to be desired:
- You don't understand anything
- There's no structure
- Not enjoyable
- My experiences with real immersion were not good
- Immersion is much more effective when you can already hold you own
- Theory of “Comprehensible input“
- What's the opportunity cost?
Resources Mentioned in Today's Episode:
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