Back from a Spanish Language immersion, St Peter’s Catholic High School in Wigan share their experience.
The learning objectives for the trip to the Arbolar Centre on Mar Menor, Murcia, with Voyager School Travel, were to learn and practice speaking Spanish in an authentic setting, to improve confidence in spoken Spanish. The aim was also to get a better understanding of Spanish life, culture, History and Geography.
The students certainly came back with more confidence in speaking Spanish. The monitors at the Arbolar Centre make the trip. They are enthusiastic, cheerful, full of energy and they cannot do enough for you. With our group of 36 students we had four to five monitors, who met us at the airport and stayed with us throughout the trip. They speak Spanish to the children at all times and try to avoid English unless really needed, such as for the water sport sessions.
The students really enjoyed spending time with and speaking to the monitors. One of our favourite activities was the Salsa dancing, led by a professional teacher. It was Zumba style with some salsa steps, with all directions and counting in Spanish. Very energetic and great fun.
The students also really loved the Spanish games on the beach, especially the photo beach race, which I have copied to use at our European Day of Languages in school, because it gets the kids thinking about Spanish and working as a team.
The students went on an excursion to Cartagena.
As with everything else, the monitors accompanied us on our excursions to Cartagena and to the local market, briefing students on a shopping challenge, helping staff, encouraging students to speak Spanish and organising a town trail quiz, all in Spanish of course.
The 'perfect' location
This was our second time staying at the Arbolar Centre and it is perfect for our school group. The location, being on the beach, is great - the students staff love it because it is quiet and there is no traffic.
The accommodation itself offers en-suite rooms for everyone, plus plenty of indoor and outdoor space. The centre is just for schools. The food is good and dietary needs are well catered for and when on site, an afternoon snack and drink are provided. The group loved the BBQ night and the tapas night.
The farewell party was a lovely way to round off the trip, with music and games, plus we organised some prizes for best salsa dancer and shopper.
In terms of timing, we’ve previously taken this trip in June but decided to travel in March this year mainly because it is much cheaper, though it was also much quieter and the Arbolar Centre was able to provide single rooms for all staff (at no extra cost). And despite it being March, the students
enjoyed the sea with no complaints!
Main image: The monitors at the Arbolar Centre in Spain.