Are you Immersing Properly?

Is your L2 Immersion time interesting enough and at the appropriate level for you to fully benefit?

I listened to a talk today about immersion, and these are the points I jotted down:

  • The way to properly immerse is to put yourself aside
  • You get into the zone where the story flows seamlessly
  • When you immerse properly, you can’t distinguish yourself from the story flowing through you
  • You’re so absorbed, you don’t even know you’re turning pages
  • You don’t even know you’re reading words or listening to words
  • You can cry, laugh and be completely consumed
  • You’re encompassed, engulfed by the experience, the story
  • The story, the narrative, has completely encircled you
  • You allow the story just to carry you
  • Get yourself out of the way. Move aside your intervening knowledge, intelligence, all your methodologies, strategies, machinations, manipulations, all your maneuvering
  • Then the story takes hold of you

Notice what’s missing from these notes:

  • Listen to the most difficult material you can find, because you’ll improve faster that way
  • Strain to understand it
  • Listen for key words and struggle to create a gist or storyline in your head
  • Translate inside your head and miss parts of the story while you’re still wondering what was said the sentence before
  • Have anxiety as to why complete sentences are eluding you
  • Beat yourself up about why you don’t feel like a B2, C1, or whatever level language learner yet in this L2
  • Daydream about other things while listening and hope that the story you aren’t paying attention to takes hold magically by osmosis

The last section is very relatable