Language Immersion Retreats

Jump up a fluency level in just a week!

PROGRAM IN A NUTSHELL
secluded in-country location
room & board included
3:1 ratio of non-natives to natives
language pledge: 100% immersion!
participant profiles with hobbies, interests, and expertise
unstructured communication + activities
8-14 hours of quality practice daily
B1-C1 proficiency levels accepted

Imagine what would happen to your language skills if you spent an entire week communicating in your target language without any distractions. Chances are, you would make as much progress in a week of intensive language practice as in a year of slower-paced study. 

Most language learners have trouble transitioning from being a student of a foreign language to becoming an active user. What's usually lacking is critical mass — a period of some days or weeks when they get many hours of language practice every day. 

Without critical mass, burdened by obligations requiring use of other languages, you may never gain the momentum to begin presenting yourself as a fluent speaker capable of engaging confidently with locals in their language.

This is how gifted language learners can spend years working in Berlin, for example, and never quite reach the point where they begin getting by and having friendships in German. When your work or studies are primarily in English and everyone around you seems to speak English, you may feel like you're fighting an uphill battle trying to speak German in Germany. Or French in France. Or even Russian in Russia. 

This is the problem that our language immersion retreats are designed to solve. 

By dedicating a week of your time to language practice, surrounded by friendly native speakers and fellow learners who have taken the same pledge to speak only the target language, you can finally take your language skills to the next level. With the fluency and momentum gained from this experience, you will better be able to integrate the target language into your lifestyle once you get back home.

Requirements for participation:

- B1-C1 level of language fluency (if you're over C1, you probably don't need a language retreat)
- commitment to only speak the target language for the duration of the retreat
- self-directed learning skills (you will also receive special video training after committing to the retreat to prepare you for the experience)

About the organizer (Richard DeLong)

Over the past 20+ years I have observed how adults acquire foreign language skills and what factors determine success and failure. By "success" I mean actually integrating use of a foreign language into your daily life. Anyone can "learn" a language. The problem for the vast majority of modern-day language learners is creating an environment where they will be expected to use the language with other people.

I know the power of language immersion, whether short-term or long-term. I've lived in host families, resided in language immersion dorms, surrounded myself with natives while living abroad, and organized language exchange clubs. I've even learned languages by committing to immersive language practice with other non-natives. I've had the chance to observe hundreds if not thousands of language learners in different circumstances and have published my own language learning handbook, Foreign Language on the Fly, in both English and Russian.

Part of the reason I'm excited about these language immersion retreats is because I expect to take part in them myself. This is exactly what I need to make a breakthrough in my own skills, and it's what almost everyone who is stuck at a B1-C1 level needs.

Languages and schedule

This is a new undertaking, so things are pretty tentative. We are in a position to organize language retreats for the following languages:

most likely:
- Russian (in Ukraine)
- Ukrainian (in western Ukraine)
- Georgian (in Georgia)

less likely, but possible:
- Spanish (in Spain)
- German (in Germany)
- Polish (in Poland)

These retreats will probably be held in summer, 2018. Other time frames are possible, depending on demand.

Cost

I'm not prepared to announce specific numbers yet, but prices will be moderate: neither cheap nor expensive — at least at first (in 2018).

Submit your application

Please download this simple preliminary application and send it to the e-mail shown in the document.

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(c) 2016-2017 Richard DeLong.