School language trips

Learning the lingo: School language trips

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School language trips allow students to learn outside the classroom in a real-life setting.

These trips give them the opportunity to test and improve their language skills, so they’re a no-brainer for MFL teachers. However, if you need a little more persuading, here are some reasons why school language trips can be so beneficial.

Why are school language trips great for students?

Learning a language can be tough for students. The technicalities and general vocabulary can be hard to grasp – especially if students aren’t that interested in the subject to begin with.

This is where school language trips come in. In the classroom, learning a language can often seem abstract. On a school trip abroad, the purpose of language learning hits home and its usefulness becomes clear.

A school language trip will cement a student’s existing knowledge through real-life scenarios and will build their confidence. This will help them immensely when it comes to exams; especially when faced with any out-of-the box questions that might require a bit more thought.

On a school language trip, students can learn about the culture they’re studying from a first-hand perspective, and the trip can even tie in to other subjects. For example, if you take French students to Normandy, you could go see the Bayeux tapestry and learn a little about the subject of history while you’re there.

Trips can also highlight areas that need some extra work. Teachers can keep an eye on students’ progress while abroad, and fine-tune lessons to support their needs back home.

A school trip abroad can pique a student’s interest in a specific language, and go a long way to preparing them for the future. Learning a language can increase both employability and earning potential, and a school language trip is a good way to start students down this path.

Key methods for learning on school language trips

There are several things you can do to ensure your students make the most of their school trips. Here’s a quick run-down:

  • Language lessons – Teaching by locals in a local setting can really help students get to grips with regional accents and develop a more realistic approach to language.
  • Cultural visits – Go see important sites and any hubs of local activity. Students can test out their skills and discover a little about the culture.
  • Send them shopping – Give students a grocery list and encourage them to talk to locals about where they can find specific items – great for sparking general conversation!
  • Watch a film – Put on a film (foreign language without the subtitles, of course), and see how much of the story students follow.
  • Have cooking lessons – Arrange lessons in cooking local food – if you went to Spain, you could try out paella. Instruct everyone to speak the local language, and help your students learn in a practical setting.

No matter where you take your students on school language trips, you can be sure that they’ll learn a lot and have a new appreciation for the language on their return home.

Want to find out more about learning languages with school trips? Talk to one of our experts!

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