Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

10 Steps to Foreign Language Video & TV Immersion

Are you learning a new language? Soon you may be eager to begin watching videos or TV programs, with no translation provided.

The goal of this type of immersion is to start processing language like native speakers do. It’s a fun and challenging way to learn. Your mind goes into full gear and you're pushing yourself way out of your linguistic comfort zone.

Immersion Learning

To make your immersion learning productive, you’ll want to become familiar with some of the essential elements of your new language. The following 10 basic grammar items are crucial for beginning to understand spoken language on TV. Using audio and written examples for each, I practiced these before starting to watch a Spanish telenovela.

10 Basic Grammar Items

1. Subject pronouns. (Are they always used or mostly dropped?)
2. Regular verb endings for first, second, and third person.
3. Definite and indefinite articles. (Are they used or not used?)
4. The 5 most common question words.
5. The 5 most common prepositions. (eg. the equivalents for: in, on, to, with, from)
6. The different vowel sounds in the new language.
7. The consonants whose sounds don't exist in English.
8. The common words that express negation.
9. The sentence melody of statements. (Practice to imitate the melody.)
10. The sentence melody of questions. (Practice these too.)

As your listening skills advance, you may want to add other steps. In the meantime, these 10 grammar steps will help you make the jump from sound as “gibberish” to sound as “words that have meaning.”