Moomin Language School Blog

The Power of Language Immersion

Posted by Saga Arola on Dec 8, 2023 4:50:54 PM

If you have ever taught a foreign language to young learners, you have most likely noticed that traditional methods don’t work very well. This is because young children learn differently compared to older learners. For young learners, learning is easiest through play and other immersive experiences. Language immersion is a great way to provide these experiences, not only for children but for teenagers and adults as well. Let’s take a closer look at what language immersion is and why it is so effective.

What Is Language Immersion?

Language immersion is an educational approach where learners are fully immersed in a foreign language for all or part of their learning time. Unlike traditional language instruction that may focus on vocabulary lists and grammar rules, immersion creates an environment where the target language is the medium of instruction and communication.


The goal of language immersion – especially full immersion programs – is not only to teach the language but also to integrate it into all aspects of the curriculum. In primary and secondary education, this means that subjects such as math, science, and social studies are taught in the foreign language, providing learners with a holistic and authentic language-learning experience. In early education, it means that all daily routines and activities from meals and playtime to naptime and going out are conducted in the foreign language.


While full immersion programs are effective, they often require a lot of resources to implement. That’s why part-time immersion and language clubs are also a great option. They take up less resources and can provide a softer introduction to the new language for children and educators alike than full immersion programs might. In part-time immersion, only some days or a part of the daily activities are conducted in the foreign language. In language clubs, the foreign language is used for the duration of the club which is usually organized once or twice a week.



In Finnish, language immersion is called "kielikylpy" or a language bath,
because children 'bathe' in the language through immersive, multisensory experiences.


Why Does Language Immersion Work?

Language immersion mirrors the way children naturally acquire their first language. When learners are immersed in the foreign language and can hear and interact with it in various ways, they pick up language skills organically, without the need for explicit grammar lessons or vocabulary drills.


Young children's brains are highly receptive to linguistic input, making early childhood a great time to introduce and reinforce new languages. This is due to neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to adapt and reorganize, which is particularly pronounced during the early years of life. Language immersion takes advantage of this plasticity by creating an environment where children are consistently exposed to the target language, facilitating neural connections related to language acquisition.


Additionally, immersive language experiences provide context-rich learning environments. As children engage in everyday activities and games in the target language, they connect language to their lived experience. This contextual learning enhances comprehension and retention, as language is not presented in isolation but integrated into the broader fabric of their lives. This is also why language immersion works well with older learners, too.


Finally, learning a language in an immersive setting is inherently engaging for young learners. The use of games, songs, and interactive activities not only captures their attention but also fosters a positive attitude towards language learning. When children see the practical and enjoyable aspects of using a new language, they become more motivated to participate actively in their language journey.



An ocean of opportunities await our brave language learners!


Get Started with Language Immersion

If you are looking to incorporate language immersion into your teaching, why not try Moomin Language School? We would love to help you and your young learners get a smooth start to your language adventure.


To make the new language a part of children’s daily experiences, Moomin Language School provides a learning application where children can play language games every day while at the learning organization. Children interact with the new language and hear native speech through stories, songs and games that combine sound, sight, and touch for a multisensory learning experience.


You will also get access to a wide variety of activities which you can do with your child group. These activities include movement games, drama, arts and crafts, songs, stories, and much more, and they have been specifically designed to immerse children in the new language through multiple senses.


The play-based group activities come with a ton of printable materials such as picture cards, which you can keep visible and readily available for children to look at and play with, even when it’s not time for language activities. Seeing familiar visuals which they associate with the foreign language will enhance children’s memory. The various songs, rhymes, and hello and goodbye activities are also quick and easy to do even on a daily basis to increase language input. The audio material in the activity plans helps you if you are not that confident in your own language skills.


In true language immersion fashion, Moomin Language School teaches children more than language. Children learn about the world and the various phenomena in it through weekly themes. The program is designed to support children’s 21st century skills and developmental skills to provide a holistic learning environment. The activities include pedagogical explanations and tips for educators to help them better understand Finnish teaching methods and incorporate them in their teaching.

If you would like to try out Moomin Language School with your young learners, apply for our free trial! You can try out the learning application and the play-based group activities for one month, no strings attached. Click the button to apply:

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Topics: early language learning, playful learning, language immersion

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