As with any learning experience, much of the learning cannot be measured per se and much is dependent on the individual student, their background, their experiences and their level of engagement in the learning process. Here’s what students say about their learning at a Concordia iso-immersion program:
"I usually like structured learning, focusing on vocab and grammar, but this course helped me realize that I can learn just as much, if not more, in different ways." - Russian LTC student evaluation comment 2020
"It will help me speak more fluently and confidently and has greatly improved my listening which is very important in my line of work." - Farsi LTC student evaluation comment 2020
"They taught me how to better work around words that I might not know to get my point across, taught me new words and gave me more overall confidence in the language that I otherwise might not have obtained." - Arabic Egyptian LTC student evaluation comment 2020
That said, at the beginning and at the end of each Concordia LTC iso-immersion experience, each student completes an OPIc (computer-based oral proficiency interview) proficiency test. While the focus of this assessment is on interpersonal and presentational speaking skills, the course design provides significant opportunities for developing listening and reading skills.
The focus on cultural immersion in the Concordia LTC setting is, among other ways, realized through simulated settings, scenarios, role plays, analysis of authentic materials and informal and formal social engagement with native speakers. As such, cultural immersion impacts understanding the application of language in the context within which it is used. That cultural understanding, in turn, gives language significance in the real world.
Assessment of and adjustments to engaging in cultural norms is ongoing throughout the immersion experience, actively fine-tuning appropriate behavior and interface. In their self-assessment and satisfaction surveys, the top three gains the students report are:
Participants express their growth in this regard like this:
“I feel more well rounded in my conversational abilities, my lexicon has improved and I feel more comfortable with talking without having to think too heavily about it.”
-Russian LTC Student Self-Assessment 2020
“I believe I am more competent in speaking and understanding conditional grammar and the future tense better. Also being able to pick out the gist of conversations even if the speaker speaks colloquially in some situations.”
-Spanish LTC Student Self-Assessment 2019
“I feel like my speaking has improved the most since we are required to use the language to communicate for the entire duration of our stay here and it has made it much more interesting. I have learned a lot more about the everyday use of the language which is not something that we necessarily get a lot of when we are in class.”
-Persian/Farsi LTC Student Self-Assessment 2020
“I feel as if I've made the most progress in small cultural cues, like what to say when a friend's father is in the hospital, or whether or not someone is Christian or Muslim based just on their name. Just small, but very important, things like that.”
-Arabic LTC Student Self-Assessment 2020