Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceStudying Abroad · 1 decade ago

How long does it take to achieve conversational fluency in a language through immersion?

Specifically , I'm going to Japan for one semester (about 4 1/2 months) as an high school exchange student. Do you think I can become conversationally fluent in this time? Also, I have already had two years of Japanese instruction so I will not be ariving in Japan without any knowledge of the language.

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  • ab1609
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you will be successful in achieving fluency in that time period depends on multiple things:

    * where do you start off?

    - Can you already follow a conversation?

    - Can you remember short sentences and repeat them in the correct situation?

    * how comfortable are you in an environment with only a foreign language to use?

    - Will you fall back to English if there is the chance to be understood speaking English?

    - Do you know some phrases to mark a paraphrase?

    - Are you comfortable paraphrasing?

    * how shy are you?

    - will you feel embarrassed when you figure out you said something inappropriate?

    - what is your reaction when you somehow disgraced yourself while trying to say the right thing?

    * your age

    - the younger the easier to learn a new language

    * difference between the new language and your native tongue or other language you already speak fluently

    - the larger the difference the harder to learn

    - grammar, spelling, pronunciation

    From what you describe I would expect that you will be capable to carry a simple conversation around the mid of your stay if there is really no chance of a fall back into English.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on your general language ability. I learned a lot in six weeks in Japan, but I could have probably been close to fluent in 4 1/2 months.

    I am more of a communication person, though.

    I would suggest you take a English-Japanese dictionary that translates only into Japanese characters. It'll be a little hard to read at first, but being forced to look at the pronounciation chart over and over makes you learn written Japanese. That'll help you a lot!

  • 1 decade ago

    If you already have Japanese instruction then it wouldn't be hard for you to master the language. In about three months you can already speak fluently if you are truly emerged with the Japanese people. But be careful of "culture shock" that's what often slows down the 2nd language acquisition process.

    Source(s): experience
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As you already have knowledge of the language and if you are interested, than you will do it. also the Japanese language is an easy language in grammar. I don't know about the writing as it is so very different.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's all depend on you and the effort that you put in, you still young and you have some knowledge about the language your going to study...

    Few years ago, I went to college in Spain I had no idea about the language, i put all my energy on it, in lest than 3 months i was able to have a normal conversation with people, I had to study every day, read and listen to the TV, I try ed to have a lot of natives friends, i spent a lot time with them it was difficult at first but it helped me to progress faster, I used to have a dictionary at all time with me...

    I am sure you will do good, good luck

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