How long does English immersion education take before noticing results?
Studies have shown that it can take on average a full year or more to learn English to a sufficient level where you can, for example, gain employment and interact with native speakers – but it doesn’t happen purely by you being there. Expect to spend at least five hours of practice a day every day within that year to reach a good level.
Don’t forget it all depends on your starting point. As we mentioned earlier, the higher your level when you start, the sooner you’ll be able to fully interact in all situations.
A Stanford University study in the US showed that with normal learning input, “oral proficiency takes three to five years to develop, and academic English proficiency can take four to seven years.” That’s a long time to reach the level that you want or need in order to improve your career prospects or improve your communication skills.
Research into immersion programmes has shown that students who spend fifty percent minimum of their day communicating, listening and surrounding themselves with English will develop skills in the language at a far faster rate and reach fluency in a much shorter time period.
Our Study English Abroad Year course at Galway Cultural Institute (GCI) takes place over twenty-five weeks during a full academic year, and is specifically designed for students from outside the European Economic Area who wish to develop their skills and fluency in English. We recognise that fully immersing yourself in the English language, at both the Institute and in the city of Galway, will provide a rewarding, unique experience. If you would love to live, work and study an English course, Ireland and the GCI will improve your language abilities at an impressive pace.
Within four weeks you can make more progress than students in traditional classes where the level of input is far lower, and you should be able to converse with fellow students and faculty staff, read uncomplicated books, and watch English language films or TV shows. In short, you should be well on your way to learning English as a second language.
Can you learn English effectively without the immersion method?
Of course! There are many other methods of learning another language, from private face-to-face tuition with a native speaker to smartphone apps, YouTube videos and paid online Zoom lessons. As with most things you have to choose what is best for you. But your rate of learning will depend on:
- Your current level of English
- How quickly you can learn new languages
- How much time you can commit to study
- How much time you will spend practising
- The level of English you want to reach or need
Our course at Galway Cultural Institute provides lots of student interaction and varied lesson materials which help you build up useful vocabulary and grammar, all with a focus on real-life communication.
As a student at Galway Cultural Institute, you’ll take a review test every Friday morning to ensure you are making good progress and to see if you need more help in any particular areas. You receive regular feedback from your teachers who will discuss and analyse your study pathway with you. The classes really help to improve your fluency and confidence outside the classroom.
Is English immersion education appropriate for all students?
Anyone is welcome to apply for an English immersion programme, but as always you must choose what the best fit is for you as an individual and for your personal goals.
Some students won’t want to live away from home for a year or more, or be dropped into a foreign culture away from friends and family. Others might not have the time or resources due to, for example, work or childcare commitments. For these students there are plenty of shorter, less intensive courses that will still get you where you want to go, but via a different route.
Galway Cultural Institute’s Study English Abroad (SAY) course is offered to students who are looking to improve their English skills and fluency. It also provides the opportunity to find employment in Galway, which will only increase your immersion in the local culture as you will be working alongside native speakers, picking up a huge range of vocabulary, and enjoying the local sights and sounds while you are here.
This is a great full immersion English course where you'll enjoy a unique experience of living, working and studying on the West coast of Ireland.