The Power of Emergent Language Teaching

At Immerse, our goal is to help you gain language skills that are relevant to your own life and personal goals. This means teaching you the specific language that you need instead of following a rigid, pre-determined learning schedule that has nothing to do with your life. 

This is why Immerse uses a teaching approach known as Emergent Language Teaching (ELT).

But what is ELT and how does it improve your fluency development?

Glad you asked. :-)

In essence, ELT is when a Guide notices the words and phrases that come up – or emerge – from you when you are in your lessons and then uses that language in real time to teach you.  

Think of it this way.

In a typical language class, you might do an activity where a teacher gives you a list of new vocabulary and then you practice it with a fill-in-the-blank activity. But the teacher made that vocabulary list before you even got there. What if it’s not relevant to you? What if your teacher is showing you how to talk about playing sports, but you hate sports and would rather talk about how you like to paint? 

The ELT approach means our Guides adapt to your needs in the moment and make sure you are learning the vocabulary and language structures that are most useful to you. That way, you can immediately put your new language skills to practice in your real life.  

At Immerse, your Guide won’t come into a lesson with a pre-set list of vocabulary and grammar points to teach you. Instead, they will work with the language you produce in the moment to help you express what you actually want and need to say.

This means you never have to be afraid of making mistakes.

In fact, your Immerse Guide doesn’t even see them as mistakes but as “teachable moments,” opportunities to teach you to express exactly what you want to say and help you become a more fluent speaker. And hey, that’s the ultimate goal, right?

Our Guides are highly trained in ELT. Every Guide we hire is an experienced language teacher to begin with. Then, we train each Guide in how to use ELT in the Immerse language program and continually supervise their teaching to ensure you receive the best language instruction possible in our class offerings. This means in every class you’ll be interacting live with a highly skilled instructor who knows how to guide you towards real-life fluency. 

So, how can you get the most out of this ELT approach?

Here are some tips:

  1. When speaking in class, say what you actually want to say, even when you’re not quite sure how. Your Guides will figure out what you want to say and help you fill in the gaps so you can accurately express yourself! Don’t avoid expressing your true thoughts and say something just because it's easier and you know the vocabulary.  Let the Guides teach you to express what you really want to say!
  2. Be proactive about asking your Guides for vocabulary and language structures that you need. They are excited to be able to tell you about the language, and asking direct questions helps them teach you what you want and need to know.
  3. Take photos of the language that comes up during class using your camera so you can study it afterwards!  
  4. Make sure to practice the new language you have learned in class by taking other Immerse lessons on similar topics, chatting with other Members in the Social Lounge, and using the language out in the real world. This will help you remember it in the long run.

Well, what are you waiting for?! Jump into an Immerse Spanish class and start speaking what you know so you can take advantage of the ELT approach. See you in VR! 

Want to learn more about Emergent Language Teaching and how it impacts your learning experience? 

Take a listen to the wisdom our Head of Education, Misty, drops in this video: 


  • Immerse lessons are led by experienced teachers trained in the Emergent Language Teaching method.
  • Emergent Language Teaching means teachers tailor the lessons to your language needs so you can quickly gain fluency in speaking on topics that are useful to you personally.
  • Immerse lessons are fun and relaxed, yet you'll find yourself learning to say what you want to say faster than you would in a traditional language class or with an asynchronous language app.
  • Learning doesn't have to end when the lesson is over. Meet up with someone in the Social Lounge, or get out there and use some Spanish in the real world! With Immerse lessons, you'll be able to put your new language skills to use right away.