What better way to learn a new language than immersing yourself in a country? You will not only learn a new language but also have an amazing experience, discover a new culture and open your mind to other points of view.
Nowadays, many universities or companies understand the richness of learning a language in another country and are sending their students or workers to a language school.
But what should you think about when you send a group to a language school?
Other than the duration of the program, the size of the group is a fundamental parameter you need to consider.
It is important for the group not to be too large, so that students get a lot of practice in each lesson. Also, the institution has to make sure there’s a group representative or a main contact, in case students have special requests and/or the school needs to inform them on specific things. The students should be enjoying their experience worry-free, with the help of the language school staff. In Bridge for example, we offer accommodation and airport pick up, to make the arrival easier.
You should also be realistic with expectations; for example, you can’t expect your group to go from 0 to 100 in a two-weeks program. Objectives should be well established with the members of the group before the trip.
Now that you know the key considerations in sending a group to a language school, you need to know how to make the trip successful!
Coming with a positive and open-minded attitude will certainly help a lot!
In the past Bridge has worked with students from Notre Dame University in the US. They came for about 8 weeks and took lessons once a week for 3 hours each time; the rest of the time, they travelled and also attended their MBA lessons in a local university. The experience does not have to be reduced to classes — discovering the country and culture is also a big part of it! So you should check whether it is easy to travel in the country you are sending your group to, as well as the safety there.
The group we hosted had clear expectations and the trip was well planned; there was also constant communication between school staff, students, and teachers in case we needed to make adjustments to their program.
The size of the class also made it successful. We hosted a small group, which enabled us to provide a custom-made program and allow the students a lot of oral practice, one of the best approaches to learn a new language. In Bridge, we know by experience that people are looking for flexible programs that can give them the knowledge they need to reach their objectives.
Mélody De Sousa is Marketing Coordinator for Chile with Bridge (view school profile on the IALC website | www.BridgeChile.com). With Bridge, students can learn Spanish in Argentina or Chile, Portuguese in Brazil or English in the USA.
Other articles by Bridge:
The best way to practice Spanish in Santiago
The 4 best ways to eat ice cream in Buenos Aires: sweeten up your Spanish classes
Off the beaten track: 5 things for students to do in Rio