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Formal lessons lay a good foundation but are only part of the mix

Imagine waking up each morning and having to use English for the whole day? This may sound a little scary or it may feel very challenging, but the truth is that in this situation you are guaranteed to make really rapid progress with your English language skills.

However, not all full-immersion courses achieve the same results and it is important to understand exactly what will get you the results you want with your English and what might not.

An immersion course where you are taking formal lessons for 6 or 8 hours a day after which you go back to a hotel will be tiring and the amount of information that you spend all day cramming into your head might not get the chance to filter into your memory immediately. Language needs time to ‘bed down’ and you need lots of varied opportunities to actually use the language in a meaningful way in order for you to remember it.

chatting over lunch
Having meals together is an important part of your learning

In truth, studying in English language lessons for many hours a day is not necessarily the best way to immerse yourself in the language. Much of what you study you may forget and it is a more active use of language that will see your skills increase and your confidence to use the language grow. Where you can combine your formal lesson study with some informal speaking and listening time, and especially if this is in an authentic setting, you will find that your English improves more effortlessly and your progress will be stronger.

When you are surrounded by native speakers (not only teachers) you will have many ‘authentic’ situations available each day where you can test your progress and really use your English in a meaningful way. So, when choosing your immersion course make sure that there is some exposure to non-lesson English and also, where possible, a chance to interact with other non-teacher native speakers.

A beautiful day in October outside Bowes Museum
We met this friendly dog on a trip to Bowes Museum

This is exactly how our immersion courses here at Fleetham Lodge are organised. Your time is spread between your lessons with the teacher and meal-times, activities and social time where you will be using English in a more relaxed way and with people other than your own teacher. This gives you a chance to use the language you learn in your lessons and also to be spontaneous with your English in a real life setting. The best thing is that you have to use English all the time you are here but in a very relaxed and supportive way.

So… when will we see you here?

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