You might’ve heard of the relatively new technique of immersion reading but don’t know if it’s a good idea. Here are the pros and cons of immersion reading to help you decide.
Pros and cons of immersion reading
Immersion reading is becoming an increasingly popular technique and for good reason. This reading method is advantageous when learning a second language. However, immersion reading might be helpful for purposes other than language learning.
This article will outline the main advantages and disadvantages of immersion reading to illustrate the technique in more detail.
What does immersion reading mean?
Immersion reading is a relatively simple concept. It consists of reading a text while simultaneously listening along to the same text. This technique makes reading and comprehension easier by connecting the words on the page with how they sound. Unsurprisingly, this aspect is of great value for foreign language learners.
Imagine being monolingual, i.e., speaking only your native language and wanting to learn a second language. If you’re an English language speaker wishing to learn, for instance, Spanish or French, sounding out written words in your head will be quite a challenge.
With immersion reading, you can hear what the new language sounds like as you’re reading. However, the technique becomes even more helpful once it’s expanded with specialized tools like text to speech engines. At that point, immersion reading can help with more than language acquisition – it can boost learning skills in middle school and high school education programs, improve problem-solving, and much more.
Pros of immersion reading
The benefits of immersion reading include:
Improved reading experience
A boost in language skills
The first benefit of immersion reading might be somewhat controversial. Some readers enjoy a text more in complete silence. This is particularly true for people with a lively imagination who can play out a dialogue in their minds.
However, many readers want full immersion, especially when exploring new worlds in literary fiction. In those cases, listening while reading can give a complete sense of the work. Plus, listening to the text with headphones on will remove all distractions from the environment, allowing the reader to become more immersed.
Reading on its own can be challenging in certain situations. Our thoughts can wander, and it’s not uncommon to start daydreaming in the middle of a text. But with an audio recording playing in sync with the text, maintaining focus becomes more manageable.
If you’re using a text to speech engine for immersion reading, its quality will play an important role here. The readouts need to sound natural and fluent, or the audio may become a distraction in itself.
It’s no wonder many school districts and public schools use immersion reading to help their students understand texts better. Listening while reading brings significant improvements in that regard because the information gets through via multiple senses.
Many students find it easier to comprehend unfamiliar subjects when listening. When they read at the same time, they form a connection between the spoken information and the written word.
Better language skills
Due to its ability to assist in learning and comprehending new words, immersion reading can be crucial in language learning and bilingual education. A language immersion program can help children adopt a second language quickly. For example, native English speakers can learn Spanish faster with Spanish immersion, and of course, the results are better if the program starts at a younger age, ideally from the first grade of elementary school.
Yet, immersion reading isn’t a helpful tool only for children learners. Adults can use the same technique to great effect.
Improved academic performance
Once students overcome these challenges, they can adopt new knowledge faster and understand it clearly. Naturally, this will lead to better academic performance on all levels.
Cons of immersion reading
Immersion reading doesn’t have many downsides as a reading and learning method. However, the technique may depend on specific additional tools that can come at a cost.
For instance, if you decide to read a book while playing an audiobook, you’ll likely have to purchase a subscription to an e-book and audiobook service. Alternatively, if you want to use a dedicated immersion reading device, you’ll need to purchase said device.
In other words, immersion reading can be pricey, depending on the chosen method.
Another potential downside is using the technique in the wrong way. This refers to reading one text while listening to another. While enjoying two texts simultaneously might look like a good idea, it’s challenging at best. At worst, which is the case for most people, it’s entirely impossible and counterproductive.
Read and listen to any text with Speechify
If you need a text to speech engine that can read any text aloud and in a natural manner, Speechify is an excellent tool for the job. The service can work with written pages, uploaded documents, photos, and more.
Try immersion reading with Speechify today and experience the advantages of the powerful TTS engine in action.
Are immersion programs effective?
Immersion programs can be very effective, which is why many immersion schools provide excellent results.
What is the main purpose of immersion reading?
The main purpose of immersion reading is to improve comprehension and boost focus.
Is language immersion good for kids?
Language immersion includes learning techniques in which kids are only in contact with the target language. Programs using these techniques can produce truly bilingual children.
What is the best way to learn a language?
The best way to learn a new language is to treat it like your native language. When we learn to speak and understand words as kids, we do it largely through experience and contextual clues. We’re completely immersed in the language. Applying the same approach to a foreign language will all but guarantee success.