Spanish language students embark on BSM’s first Language Immersion Trip | The British School Manila

Just before the half term break, 14 students and two teachers from The British School Manila headed off on our first Spanish language immersion trip. Students were hosted by families in Barcelona, spending time conversing in Spanish with their hosts each evening, as well as participating in classes in a local school and sightseeing each day. The students have returned to us much more fluent in Spanish, but also having learnt much from the being exposed to a different culture. Judging by the smiles that greeted us on Monday morning, the students thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience.

“Necessity is the mother of fluency” – By placing these students in situations where they had to speak the local language they have to practice their skills. There is nothing more enriching than a real life classroom. Through practice your skills will improve and progress.

At times our students were placed in situations where they struggled to convey what they wanted to say, this forced them to be creative with their vocabulary and grammar choices. By being more creative with their vocab and grammar choices it reinforced what they already knew and those they interacted with helped them say things in a more direct manner, which built their language skills.

By practicing in an authentic situation these students begin to become familiar with language structures and patterns, which will better prepare them for their next encounter.

This immersion experience forced students out of their comfort zone, helping them develop their Learning Power skills of risk-taking and resilience. Research shows that development of these skills will increase their success later in life and they had fun doing it.

Visiting other countries and staying with families students develop an appreciation of different

cultures helps students to find common ground with others, whilst celebrating differences.
Learning a language is best done within a cultural context as this helps understand how the language has evolved and developed, as well as its use within an everyday context.

For the 2017-2018 school year we will be offering similar programmes in France and China, along with a return trip to Spain. There are numerous benefits offered by these sorts of programmes and we would encourage you to consider giving your child this opportunity.