As we grow up from childhood to adulthood, all of us naturally pick up the language that is largely spoken around us viz. in the family or at school or even in the neighborhood.
The process of learning the language (or in some cases, languages) seems relatively effortless. The reason is not difficult to understand: our brain and ears constantly absorb the familiar sound signals from all around us which in other words would mean that we are
immersed in the language.
The ability to read or write in the language further reinforces and expands the language learning process as we grow by adding to the vocabulary, phrases or other elements of the grammar.
The learned experts from the language fields have concluded that in order to learn any foreign language, it is helpful and necessary to be in the environment which is conducive in learning the target language. That is to say, to achieve a total language immersion.
One of the possible scenarios to achieve this is staying for a prolonged period in the land where that language is widely spoken. Say, if you want to
learn Spanish, staying in Spain for some months or years would definitely be helpful to make you proficient in Spanish language.
But is the idea practically feasible for everyone? Another option which is exercised prevalently is joining the foreign language class in your city where the teachers teach Spanish using your native language as bridge language and there is also a group of students around in the class with whom you could converse in the language.
Besides, it is often recommended that you should try to learn the language by listening to the specific radio broadcasts or tuning to television programs in the language you aspire to learn.
Well, if the above traditional methods are not appealing to you, the modern times provide few other options which can be easily used by the new language learner. The internet, as we all know, has pervaded different dimensions of our lives and the development of numerous add-ons and apps dedicated to perform different functions is transforming our life styles.
We bring to you here one of the popular modern age internet tools
Language Immersion from Chrome which can be of immense help to the persons aspiring to learn any foreign language, and that too by sitting at their desk!
Majority of internet users regularly use
Google Chrome as their web browser today but not many would know that this has the inherent capability to become your foreign language tutor as well!
All you have to do is to click and install the desired ‘browser extension’ named
which can serve as handy tool for learning any foreign language. Chrome Language Immersion
It comes with all the essential elements of learning any foreign language and you have the choice to learn any of the 64 foreign languages through the L
anguage Immersion from Chrome. All that has to be done by the aspirant is to select any of the 64 languages supported by the Google Translate and also select the appropriate level of proficiency which ranges from ‘novice’ to ‘fluent’. How does the Language Immersion extension work?
Language Immersion from Chrome works in a unique way to help you build your vocabulary and proficiency online in the foreign language you wish to learn.
It randomly replaces some words (for novice level) or phrases (for fluent level learners) in the language that you wish to learn while you are browsing through any page or website text in your native language on the net. It happens that whenever you visit any page on the net, you will find some words highlighted in the target language amidst your native language.
It is on the learner to make sense of the foreign word inserted and obviously helps you in building your vocabulary along the way. In case of difficulty, you can click on the translated word where it will revert back to your native language so that you can understand it correctly and then flip it back to the target language.
And THAT is not all – you also have the option to hear the foreign language word by clicking on the Google Translate!
The idea seems bit weird in the beginning since this is a mish mash of two different languages that appear while you are reading through the screen but works wonderfully to enhance your familiarity with the language and increase your vocabulary.
At the novice level only little bits of sentences or some random words are inserted but as you advance to fluent level, whole paragraph in the target language would appear before you.
Some other great Chrome extensions
There are of course numerous other tools available in the digital domain like Readlang, Flewent, Lingua.ly and host of other extensions which can also be checked by the interested learners and select the one that suits them the most.
In our view, Language Immersion ranks high on the list being one of the most versatile and easily accessible extensions.
We are presenting here the short description about the salient features of some of these apps for the benefit of readers.
As you improve your grasp over the foreign language over time, Readlang extension shall be of enormous help in taking you to the intermediate or higher scales of learning. In order to have better knowledge of the foreign language, you are expected to enhance your reading skills in the target language. Readlang thus takes the inverse route when compared to Language Immersion. Here, you go through the written text in the foreign language and can get the translation in your native language for any word or phrase that you are not able to understand. The words that you seek to get translated are stored in flash cards so that you can review them later and imbibe them into your vocabulary.
This Chrome Plugin actually encourages you to test your own proficiency in the target language as you reach intermediate levels of learning it. While you are reading any online page in your native language, you can set the percentage of words that will get randomly translated into the target language. You can thus practice while reading daily news online or checking Wikipedia and the pop up window uses Google Translate to assist you in better understanding of the foreign word.
This learning tool is quite similar to Readlang where you get the words or phrases in target language to be read online and improve your vocabulary. Besides giving the detailed meaning of the foreign word when you click over it, one also gets the grammatical information as well as audio. This gives you better pronunciation practice. The flash cards are automatically created for the words that you click so that you can review and revise them later.
This tool has the capability of translating longer fragments of sentences in foreign language by pasting them over the small window that opens on a click at the extension. While it can add new words and meanings in the flash cards, you have the option to choose your own interesting pictures on flash cards to make your own visual cue. The
pronunciation practice and the word builder feature of the app make the learning routine more interesting.
The detractors of the digital tools argue that the translation of the words is not accurate at times and one could possibly experience problems in grammar, gender or even the context where it is used. They have certainly a valid point but nonetheless, it has the potential to serve as handy tool for the foreign language learners. It may not be a comprehensive solution for foreign language learners but certainly proves to complement any other study efforts being made by the aspirants.