Language Learning: Gradual Accumulation vs Total Immersion

Modern language training tends to focus a lot more on use than grammar. To a certain extent this means getting people to use the target language more without worrying too much at first about their grammatical accuracy.

Immersion training takes this idea to its logical conclusion. Here a client spends all their time immersed in the target language: doing their work in it, studying it, socialising in it. At the Taleninstituut we make use of this principle to teach a target language by using that language as the language of instruction.

However, for business purposes this can have its drawbacks, which is why we offer our clients a variety of options when it comes to our custom business language courses.

You could say that we practise a method of gradual accumulation. In a French lesson, for example, you will speak French while learning more French vocabulary, styles and grammar. But only for the few hours in that week that you have booked lessons.

We do this because in a high-paced, information rich world, clients need time to practice and absorb the new content of each new lesson. Highly intensive, total immersion does not leave much room for introspection, self-analysis or even practice.

At the Taleninstituut we back that up with homework assignments, working with real workplace materials, recommending language apps and websites and facilitating follow-up online maintenance course. The important thing is for our clients to learn how to think in their target language as and when it is required.

At no stage is someone totally immersed, but by repeated, controlled immersions of varying intensity, they are put under pressure to acquire and use new language points in live interaction with our trainers. This has the benefit of providing a safe place to learn while still requiring dedication, focus and repetition.


Adults can struggle to acquire new language skills or to improve their existing ones. This is mainly because of pre-existing habits which sometimes need to be modified or eradicated to allow progress. The gradual accumulation involved in our training provides the repetition required without boring the client.

So, no, you don’t need to a new country to totally immerse yourself in the language and thereby learn it. You can accumulate the language through dedicated and repeated practice, just like you will get during one of our courses.

Taleninstituut Free Tip:

Never under-estimate the power of repetition and self-corrections. Adult learners mostly don’t realise they need to first unlearn some ideas before they can move ahead. Repetition helps these new ideas to seem less strange and therefore easier to use.

Here at Taleninstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised Business language courses to businesses and individuals. Through a process of interviews and meetings we establish the unique needs and competence of our clients and design each and every course around those. To find out more about our Business Language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote:

© Taleninstituut Nederland

By: David Chislett
Trainer Business English

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Fotograaf: Jeroen Docter