Earlier this summer, a group of Year 10 students from Charters School visited Montpellier on one of Halsbury Travel’s Language Study Tours. Their teacher, Laura Stock, reports back on the experience.
School: Charters School, Ascot
Subject: Modern Foreign Languages
Number of pupils: 19
A Language Study Tour effectively involves structured lessons in the mornings during the week, and free time with teachers in the afternoons.
Prior to the trip we were asked what the specific needs of our students were in terms of their lesson content, so we’re able to give them an idea of their level and of any topics which we would like them to cover while we’re out here.
The students stay in host families - usually they stay in pairs, sometimes they stay in groups of three. For me the host family stay is a really important part of the trip because they gain so much from being there, rather than in a hotel. The host families are exceptionally welcoming to the students and really show them what day-to-day life is like.
“I love seeing different cultures and it seems so pretty with the beach and all the buildings and stuff.” - Pupil comment
We chose to give the students a bit of a mix of traditional cultural activities with some more fun activities such as going to the beach, going bowling and going shopping.
We went on a walking tour of the city centre with Grant, who’s one of the teachers here and does the majority of the tour in French. And then we visited the zoo and the beach, and the students had the opportunity to go shopping and play pétanque.
Montpellier is an ideal destination for me because of the weather and its situation near the coast. We feel very safe here and we feel there’s plenty to do.
Operating the trip through Halsbury makes it significantly more straightforward for teachers. If there is any change to itinerary, we know that we’re in good hands and that Halsbury will make the changes that are necessary.
Once the children returned to the UK, they certainly stood out in their class as students who had been on the trip.
“I think it will help my exams, especially with the speaking aspect as here we constantly get to improve it.” - Pupil comment
Also, as a teacher it’s an opportunity to boost your own language skills, experience staying in a host family and spend time getting to know your students a bit better. So, it’s a trip which is enjoyed both by the students and the teachers when we come here. I would certainly recommend a Language Study Tour to other teachers. This is the sixth time that we’ve run this trip to Montpellier, which speaks for itself in terms of the success of the visit.