Anabela Barros is a professional who runs nacel London, a popular language immersion program offering students opportunities to live abroad and learn English as a second language. To learn more about these exciting programs, visit

Combine online learning and immersion to learn a second language!


 Learning a second language is an invaluable skill that can pay off in so many different areas of life. Not only does your mind expand and become sharper on picking up other languages, or patterns in how you use your primary language, but knowing a second language opens doors for teaching, employment, and the wonderful world of travel. The question is, what is the best way to effectively learn a new language quickly? Combining online learning with full immersion is the way to go for most learners, and it might just be the right choice for you. 

Why Online Learning?

Online learning offers a host of benefits. Reputable websites offer some basic resources free of charge, and by watching online video you won't be trying to read letters off of a page - you'll actually hear how the word sounds. Good videos may even have the words written so you can see the difference in how a combination of letters in pronounced in English versus Spanish versus French. The same letters can make drastically different sounds, and combining visual learning with auditory learning enhances your retention and recognition of proper pronunciation and dialect. 

The ability to learn online also means you have access to well developed paid language learning programs. Look for programs with a high level support and those that are taught by teachers with a native understanding of the language you’re trying to learn. You can review lessons over and over, re-watch videos, and even get downloads to review vocabulary as you workout, cook or go about your day. There's a lot to like about what online language learning resources have to offer. 

Why Immersion?

While the online world has plenty to offer, nothing beats immersion. There are several reasons for this. The first is that the biggest challenge to speaking a second language is shifting your mind to think in those words and terms. Being surrounded by a foreign language helps to overcome that, as people tend to be very good at picking up speech patterns when they are in a situation where they’re ‘forced’ to use foreign words during daily tasks and to meet life’s necessities. 

Studies have consistently shown that students who spend at least 50% of their time around another language tend to pick up on new words and phrases much more quickly than their counterparts who don't - and they retain much more. 

Many individuals have stories of taking two or three weeks of vacation in a foreign country after studying its language in a classroom setting for months or years and learning more additional vocabulary in those few weeks than all those previous years of study combined. 

Combining the Two Effectively

Combining online language learning tools and lessons with full immersion is the best way to make sure the language really sticks. Being surrounded by a language helps your mind understand more clearly and begin thinking in the form of the grammar, sentence structure and general syntax of that language. The online learning becomes more effective when you go out and immediately use it - then can come back at night and go back over lessons on the types of words you struggled with. 

Combining the words you use with video lessons and full immersion with native speakers means you ingrain that language into your mind for the long-term and will soon be truly bi-lingual.