Language Immersion Programs

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Intensive Language Programs for Adults


I'd like to become fluent in Spanish and French. Can anyone recommend a program that will help me accomplish this (something more accelerated and effective than your typical junior college classroom course)?

To the person who is looking for foreign language programs that are, more accelerated and effective than your typical junior college classroom course?, on the contrary, I wholeheartedly suggest that you try taking a course at a local junior college. From personal experience (in French and Spanish) I can tell you that these classes can be very effective, fun, and, inexpensive, when compared to private programs. Most community college instructors teach only in the target language, thus coming as close to the immersion method as one can other then going to the country where the language is spoken. Fall 2001 semester begins in August--Good luck
A while back, a friend of mine took a summer Latin Intensive program through the UC extension. I think they also have a French Intensive, and possibly other languages. It was 10 weeks, many hours a day, and quite rigorous. (The Latin one was so difficult that they recommend that people not hold down jobs at the same time.) If you have the time for it, this might be a good choice.
UC Berkeley has summer intensive language courses in French, Spanish, German (and probably others as well). You'll learn 2 years of college language in 6 weeks. Of course, it's not really immersion, and what you get out of it is mostly the bare bones of the language, much more grammar than vocabulary. I did the intensive Spanish about 10 years ago, then went to Guatemala for a few weeks (living in Antigua, where there are a thousand language schools). The combination was excellent, and I quickly turned my school Spanish into spoken Spanish. Judith
Immersion Language instruction is actually trademarked by Berlitz. My brother has run Berlitz schools both in Pennsylvania and New York and in the Far East. He contends that language instruction is fairly straightforward, and that given six or so weeks of direct instruction and the willingness to do it nearly anyone can become capable in a language not their own. He thinks the Berlitz method works, but that many others do, too. What you need to do is work at it three hours a day, practice the language with a native speaker and listen to the language as much as possible. Myriam