Language is real; we don’t treat it as a mere subject. It is the vehicle of communication through which travelers access locals and their culture. The more opportunities students have to speak the target language, the greater the impact of their travels and educational experience.
Our Immersion Approach
We are committed to helping students put their language skills into real communicative action. On tour, we create true speaking opportunities and provide fun incentives to allow the maximum use of the language. These opportunities start before students arrive at their destination.
- Language Pledge – Our travelers sign a Language Pledge through which they promise to make the most of their adventure. They pledge to lean away from their comfort zone and use the language to chat with our guides, bus driver, and the general public as much as possible.
As teachers, we know how to constantly work common expressions and keywords into our travels throughout the tour. And, through raffles and our “Reward Coupons,” we compensate students for using them.
- Pre-Trip Training – Prior to our tour, teachers receive cultural tips and vocabulary sheets to prepare students for their experience. Students learn idiomatic expressions, keywords, and useful tour vocabulary. We also provide teachers with different cultural and linguistic practice scenarios similar to what the students experience in their destination.
- Incentive “CUPONES” – We reward students with coupons for impressing their tour directors and/or teachers by using new vocabulary words or expressions in context. Here are some ways to impress them:
- Involve yourself in conversations with locals.
- Answer questions (for example, during our “bus talks”) about the things we’ve seen and learned.
- Don’t just answer questions, but chat with our staff and with locals.
They can use these coupons toward the purchase of treats.
We avoid English as much as possible on tour! In as much as possible, we eat, stay, and swim in places that tend to be frequented by locals rather than tourists so students will be spoken to in (and have to speak) the local language. We make sure the staff working at the places we visit agree not to speak to us in English.
Raffles – We hold fun and challenging raffles throughout the trip where students answer questions about the words and cultural information that they have learned.