My French Immersion Experience and What I Learned

Hey! I’m Quinn, the founder and CEO of Immerse. This is a story of my own personal language immersion experience, which eventually led to the conception of Immerse!

Even though I’m American and have lived here most of my life, I was actually born in Paris. My parents put me in a French school, I went to a French church, and had French friends. Thus, my early childhood was one big bilingual experience. I was never “taught” French, per se. Instead, I lived with French, speaking it whenever the need arose.

But it was a huge bummer when my family returned to the states because the day I entered the traditional American school system was the day French began to escape my brain. You should know this about me: I extremely dislike the way language is taught in schools today. I went from using French in my day to day life, communicating real thoughts and speaking it naturally to trying to cram grammar in my one-hour-a-day French class. In that class, we never spoke, so I never cared. I may have learned a couple fancy vocab words and grammar charts, but I didn’t open my mouth to speak French more than perhaps an hour total over the course of high school and college combined. Plus, I rarely studied because I had learned enough as a kid to breeze through my classes. And what I didn’t use escaped.

Was my time abroad a real immersion experience?

When I got to college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is a French-speaking city. But foolishly, I didn’t dive into the local community. Why? Because my program wasn’t built around it. I basically lived in a mini American bubble – I traveled and lived with Americans, went to English speaking church, and continued to take worthless academic French.

Now, I’m going to visit France in a couple of months. Although I’m thrilled to return, I can’t help but be disappointed in myself. I put in so little effort to maintain and improve my French that I might not be able to get by when I go there.

BUT, this is one of the many reasons I’m so excited for Immerse: I NEED IT!  I am starting to meet with a French tutor on Immerse, because I need Immerse more than anyone else. I need an actual French immersion experience online because I know those stupid textbooks didn’t prepare me for this trip…

I’ve struggled so much to learn a language that I decided to build a better way to do it. Don’t waste your time flipping flashcards and writing out endless verb endings like I did.

Click the link to check out what I’ve built and change the way you learn language: https://immerse.online/

Posted on

September 25, 2018

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