How you can best learn languages by creating your own language immersion

Hej! Hola! Ciao! Γειά! Привет! 你好! Salut! Hey! And welcome, fellow language learners!

First, let me introduce myself. I am hugely enthusiastic about language, language learning and I love to motivate other people in general to reach their goals, and specifically their language goals. Also, I have experience in the field of language learning. I’d love to give you an idea first who’s offering you those language learning tips on this blog. Don’t let the amount of languages I’m learning (or my face) scare you! This is just me on video giving you some background, hopefully building up some confidence in me before you’ll read my blog further that is an attempt to help you in reaching your language learning goals together.

I’ll help you create your ideal language learning environment

I believe that anyone can learn languages. The proof is that you can understand this sentence. Now, many people ask me: but isn’t it easier for some people to learn languages? Well, I am investigating whether there is such a thing as a talent for learning languages and I am currently working on this article about the so called language gene.

Effective language learning starts with a great motivation – feel good

Learn a language to feel good? Yes! How can you otherwise engage in such a time and energy consuming process such as learning a language? Just like getting yourself to go to the gym, quit smoking, perform in other lengthy activities, eat healty or learning to play a new musical instrument learning a language can only come from an intrinsic motivation, a strong drive for whichever goal. Only when your brain thinks that you will pursue that goal it will get rewarded and continue to give you the motivation to further learn. That doesn’t even necessarily meet that you have to reach your final goals, funnily enough. But more about that later!

What drives you in life? Enjoy life in the best possible way? Connect to people? To be good at your work or whatever you do? To contribute to others? It may sound unrelated, but all of those are my internal motivators to learn a language. Take a moment to think about what your real internal drivers are to learn a language. People can have multiple motivations to learn a language:

Learn a language to connect to people

The feeling of interpersonal connections gives most of us purpose in life. Meaningful long-term relationships or small talks often let endorphine (and yes, adrenaline) run through our vains. Short chats with smiles and appraisal of you speaking someone else’s language can give you a feeling of being part of communities or overal society.

Learning languages to travel

Are you thinking of an amazing trip in the future to your favourite countries?

Learn a language to be able to start your studies

I’ve helped out students worldwide who wanted to improve their current language level in order to pass an entry level for their future Bachelor or Master vocational, university studies or post-grads.

Are you learning a language for work?

Many of my clients at corporate language schools such as global Berlitz and the Netherlands based Regina Coeli (the ‘Nuns of Vught’) and other language schools were offered the language course through their work.

As an expat they and their families wanted to learn the basics in the local language to better connect to neighbours, do shopping and order food and drinks at a bar or restaurant.

Many professionals that I came across throughout the years were learning or improving their English or another language to perform better at their job: engage into social contact with co-workers, follow or hold presentations, participate in or even manage meetings, instruct colleagues or clients or whatever.

My own reasons to learn the basics of several languages

I started this blog to share my passion for languages and language learning. I’m learning the structure and basics of many languages, but understand way less when reading, listening, speaking or writing. Depending on your definition, I speak about 0-10. My ambition is to be able to have fluent conversations in those ten languages and to know the basics of another 10 or possibly more. I’ll see how things go along the way.

Having worked in the area of language education for over a decade, I thought I should share my experiences with other language learners online. So here are some questions for you. Feel free to answer them in your head or out loud. I don’t hear you answer them (yet).

What drives me to learn a language?

Take a moment to answer the intrinsic reasons you may have to learn a language. I have three major reasons why I like learning new languages:

  1. I love new things – I just like the adventure that lies ahead of me
  2. I like learning in general – acquire a skill in something strange, as I also like challenging myself to become good at a new sport.
  3. I love traveling to countries worldwide, working for international organizations, living with people from all over the world, listening to music in other languages, following the news in other countries and understanding the history of nations and with it, national symbols such as language.
  4. I love making connections with people from all over the world and not be limited by my own nationality. It’s probably safe to assume that most of us have born in one country with at least one native language. But I always felt the need to connect with people from other countries, not thinking in national borders or languages. So having a lingua franca such as English helps, but I think the following quote says it all:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

How I learn and practice languages

I use whichever way I feel like: study and reading books that I acquired over the years, online courses on Coursera, video’s, all kind of apps (Duolingo, Mondly, Babbel and my own Language Immersions) and of course lessons from teachers and practice with native speakers from the online platform and language schools I worked at.

My weird language learning goal and methods

If there are specialist and generalists, I’m definitely not part of the first group! I envy learners who can pick one target language and focus on it for a long time. I’m quite the opposite. I would like to learn the basics of dozens of languages as you can read here. Or you can watch this video of me going through Duolingo lessons in 22 languages in one go.

Again, don’t let the number scare you off. I am not doing this on a daily base but do like a challenge. As mentioned in this video I think, I wanted to see how to separate language lessons in order not to get confused between languages. For instance, I couldn’t switch from Norwegian to Swedish, or learn Portuguese after Catalan without mixing them up or any other language sequence within the same family. I’m just showing it cause I’m proud that I managed something that I enjoy and it’s also an attempt to attract other language learners to my channel and website for whatever that can be shared about language learning.

Back to you and how you can best reach your language learning goals

Hopefully you have thought a bit about your internal motivation and now you know a bit which language freak is behind this blog. Now it’s time to establish your language learning goals and see how you can met them!

How can you best reach your language goals?

Let’s create your own language immersion!

Often I hear people say the following:

“The best way to learn the language is by being in the country where they speak it.”

most people

I agree with that statement up to a large extent. The so called immersion can be extremely helpful, but I’d like to rephrase it:

“The best way to learn a language is by creating your personal language immersion. Wherever you are.”

your language immersion blogger

  • Some people don’t always have the means to live, work or travel in the country of their choosing. Even though the world has globalization and some regions (like the EU) have enabled citizens to live in other member countries, still millions of world citizens can’t live in the country of their liking.
  • Other people often do have the means to live, work or travel in the country of their choosing but often don’t see it as an option. They consider moving to another country impossible financially, bureaucratically, or too difficult at a cultural/linguistic level.

I’d like to use this website not only to encourage those who belong to the former group to live in the country of their dreams, but mostly to show the latter group of the following:

Do you believe that you need to live in another country to learn a language?

I don’t! I think you can learn a language from wherever you are, as long as you have the internet and the right tools.

Read my article that attempts to answer this question from my own experience traveling, studying, working, living and loving abroad:

Do you need to travel, study, work and live abroad to learn a language?

Here are various ways that you can use to learn languages online
Here are various paid methods that you can use to learn languages from your home country
Planning on learning a language abroad after all? These are some options to think about from your home (country)

Of course I’m not saying you shouldn’t go abroad to reach your language goals. I’ve travelled for long periods, studied and lived abroad a couple of times, worked remotely and now travel for work. I’d be happy to share my learnings from those experiences with you so you can make your best choice and find the right tools to prepare when it comes to language learning.

What I have learned and can’t stress enough, though, is this:

If you want to be able to speak a language, you can really do so from your home (country).

Your success is determined by other factors, such as your intrinsic motivation, dedication/time and created environment as the means are there for most of us to use from any place that you also visit your language immersion site from!

Having a strong passion for language learning and desire to share my ways to learn languages, I wanted to create this welcoming page already. Hopefully it inspires you to create your personal language immersion. This is an overview of the ways I think are helpful to create your own learning environment from your home (country). I’m frequently adding content for all of these topics so that we can create your language immersion together.

For now, find your internal motivation to learn a language, establish your specific personal language learning goals and hopefully the pages on this blog serve as an inspiration.

Don’t forget the most important lesson: to enjoy what you’re doing!