How to become fluent in a language without immersion

Corin_Wright United KingdomIs it truly possible to become fluent without living in the country of the used language?February 2012Hey guys, I know there are many videos of what "Fl

How to become fluent in a language without immersion



United Kingdom

Is it truly possible to become fluent without living in the country of the used language?February 2012

Hey guys, I know there are many videos of what "Fluent" means, and what it means to "know" a word etc etc. But surely it's not truly possible to become fluent in a language without living or having lived, in the country of the language for a long time. For example. In Danish. I can express certain things fluently, or in other words, I can say,read and understand certain things in Danish without even having to think about it, it just gets processed so quickly i don't have to think about it, presumably because I've come across certain words so often it just sticks. But words in English like (and please don't attach much significance to these random words I choose): practical, adaptable, subjective, agile, etc. are words that I don't necessarily come across every day , and I certainly don't use them every day but over my life time I've heard them enough and seen them in context enough to understand their meaning pretty much spontaneously.

This then made me think that surely words in Danish that correspond to these types of words I couldn't possibly memorize or maybe even "know" to whatever degree one may think "know" means unless I was in Denmark completely surrounded by them as opposed to trying to "learn" every word I come across which because I know I'm not going to remember seems some what pointless. Sorry if some parts of the post, I haven't worded greatly. Would be interested on your thoughts everyone :-)




United StatesMarch 2012

I too have achieved fluency in a language over the last 3 years without going abroad to study. It all has to do with the amount of content you expose yourself too, for instance, all of the "uncommon" words you listed in your first post I can recall in an instant in Italian, and I definitely didn't have to go to the country to learn them. What I DID do was listen to hours and hours of their talk radio, read about 20 novels and countless blogs, news articles and Wikipedia articles, and of course speak with Italians I've met here in The States and over Skype. The funny thing is it didn't even really consume my life either. I just switched the normal tv / radio / blogs / books / news that I read from English to my target language. I still have time to work 40 hours a week, workout every day, play golf, raise my son, clean the house (which gives me even more listening time), compete (and win) in Judo, etc. Language input is the key, lots and lots of language input. I'm working on my third language now. Its a lot of fun, I'll take a trip to Mexico or Spain or some other Spanish speaking country as a treat to myself AFTER I have become fluent in that language as well. Then it will be on to language number four...



United StatesFebruary 2012

I think what your suggesting may have been more true maybe 10 or 15 years ago but the Internet now provides so many opportunities to immerse yourself in your target language without visiting a country that it is spoken. I guess actually living in a country your target language is being spoken does remove a lot of the choice you may have in the matter. If you go out to public places your just going to be exposed to the language whether you want to be or not. So with that in mind, I think it is probably possible to become fluent without ever even visiting your target language's country but I think it would require a lot more deliberate effort on the student's part.

Also to add to Rank's point - I've found native Japanese (my target language) speakers to talk with where I live and I live in a rather rural area that isn't very diverse.

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