Voyager's French Language Immersion Trips featured in TES Magazine

10 Jan 2021, 10:41 by Kate Moore


TES interviewed Catherine Montgomery, French teacher at Thornhill College, about her experience of Voyager School Travel's French Language Immersion programme. 

In the TES article, entitled "Total Immersion Is The Way To Teach Languages", Catherine describes how she took a large group of 14-16 year olds from Northern Ireland to France on our Normandy Experience French language immersion trip. In the article, she explains the research behind language immersion saying that "immersion introduces students to a language in context, so that they view it as a component of an entire culture, rather than something static in a textbook."

Young people learn that language is a living thing

Catherine believes that French immersion is the best way to teach a language saying the more of a target language you can use, the better for your students. But with only three 35-minute lessons allocated to teaching her Year 10 French students per week, she acknowledges that it is a challenge to build immersion into her MFL teaching. 

That's why Voyager School Travel's language programmes aim to be totally immersive - with children only speaking and hearing French throughout the trip - giving students every chance to practise the language, from the moment they step off the coach. We estimate that children on certain French programmes will hear and speak more French in a week than they will experience in a whole term at school, leading to significant progress. 

Catherine said that her students didn't really believe that they would only be speaking French during the trip. "It was not until our guides for the week – both native French speakers – introduced themselves on the first morning that reality began to sink in; the students looked at one another in shock."

But they quickly grew in confidence, and by the second afternoon in Normandy, they were making comments such as, “I understand more French than I ever realised."

Catherine explains that Voyager's immersive French trips are effective in increasing her students' confidence in speaking a second language, which she says is a big hurdle in students' willingness and progress, "It helps to build confidence – one of the most difficult aspects of learning a language" she says.

As well as explaining the educational benefits of a French immersion trip, Catherine shares some of her experience of running a school trip to France.

A French Teacher's Top Tips For A Successful French Immersion Trip

  1. Make it clear to parents that their children will be speaking French all week when you first tell them about the trip. It’s a real selling point and will increase the uptake.

  2. Consider setting up the trip for students before they choose their GCSEs; the experience is more likely to motivate them to pick a foreign language as an option.

  3. Book with a travel company that specialises in immersion trips. Although there is an added cost to using a company, it reduces the pressure on you to organise everything, leaving you free to concentrate on teaching.

 

Catherine took her group on our Normandy Experience programme, a guided French language tour of Normandy which offers students a balanced mix of cultural visits and excursions with the option of a day experiencing the activities at our own Château. We offer a full range of language immersion school trips to our centres in Northern France and Normandy as well as guided French tours of Paris. 

Click here to read the full article by Catherine Montgomery on the TES website

 

 

Recent posts

Meet our animateurs!

Our French-native team of professional animateurs will accompany you throughout the school trip.

James sidebar image

Get a no-obligation quote

We’re ready when you are! See our range of ABTA-backed school tours and centre-based residentials for 2022

Get a quote

French language trips

Discover our range of immersive French school trips, instructed by our team of animateurs.

See more
How to book widget

COVID-19 travel hub

Everything you need to safely restart school trips - Peace of Mind Promise, COVID insurance, latest travel advice & planning resources for schools

Learn more
James sidebar image

Get a no-obligation quote

We’re ready when you are! See our range of ABTA-backed school tours and centre-based residentials for 2022

Get a quote
  • Voyager School Travel (2021-12-01 15:47:16)

    This week's announcement that children aged from 12 years will be offered a COVID-19 second jab opens up more possi… https://t.co/tXnPoWK1Ny

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-29 17:59:08)

    Bonjour from Chafyn Grove School at Lille Christmas Market this weekend! We are delighted to have organised their 3… https://t.co/OR7UZt04WQ

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-26 21:27:00)

    Do you have some questions that need answering about your next school trip? We can guide you through the main quest… https://t.co/zihX3aYFNs

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-26 10:56:53)

    Bon Voyage to Year 7 & 8 @ChafynGrove as they set off on their Christmas market trip to France this morning! 🇫🇷☃️🎄

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-22 12:27:00)

    The Peace of Mind Promise gives extra backup in case your trip is impacted by COVID-19. Enjoy this extra protection… https://t.co/pCDFScPC5P

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-17 12:00:25)

    Think it's too late to book for next summer? Think again. Choose a Fast Track package and receive the support you n… https://t.co/9a88hazEf3

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-15 16:08:39)

    Planning a school trip? James is just back from a parents' evening & these are the 3 things parents most wanted to… https://t.co/Z6X0i4rEu9

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-08 14:10:54)

    The US opened its gates to UK travellers today for the first time since March 2020.✈ We've explained the requiremen… https://t.co/3AfsTmLvqC

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-04 15:55:01)

    Read our latest blog about the benefits of using #voyagerschooltravel to organise your next UK trip… https://t.co/jJtYPjRA4n

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-02 10:41:06)

    What's at the forefront of parents' minds when it comes to school trips? 💭 Our school trip specialist spills the se… https://t.co/OhNsqt4xrV

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-11-01 09:01:59)

    RT @baudonniere: We were on French TV!!! Check out this amazing TV report made by France 3 Normandie about our new English Manor programme!…

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-26 16:47:18)

    What's the difference and what does that mean for school trips? https://t.co/wmU2yNBuiX #voyagerschooltravel… https://t.co/kYVN5Y45iR

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-19 17:15:01)

    Read our blog about insuring for your next school trip or residential https://t.co/TqK7GuF7vv #schooltrips… https://t.co/61CCyHJqy1

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-15 11:56:18)

    🚨👍Travel rules have been further relaxed today. A lateral flow test will replace the PCR test which travellers are… https://t.co/Bvo3XBVC8q

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-13 13:53:53)

    Do you have adequate insurance for your school trip or residential? Make sure you check out our five top tips in ou… https://t.co/l3wfdvZ9Hm

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-11 16:29:48)

    Confused by the travel rules for France? 🇫🇷 Here's a handy chart to make things as simple as possible. The good new… https://t.co/GqPnq3C5KX

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-05 12:02:41)

    RT @UNESCO: Happy #WorldTeachersDay! 🙂 Today we celebrate all teachers across the world 🌍 for their inspiring dedication to future generat…

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-05 12:02:11)

    RT @UN: On Tuesday's #WorldTeachersDay we pay tribute to the invaluable contribution of teachers to students, communities and societies.…

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-10-04 15:06:48)

    Read our latest blog about the new rules https://t.co/gNWspBIyZi #voyagerschooltravel #bookyournextschooltrip https://t.co/Q1dJuA9j06

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-09-29 17:06:33)

    Did you know that all our school trips include travel insurance with COVID-19 cover before AND during the trip? Rea… https://t.co/0qZOYwXVc9

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-09-24 13:36:01)

    Planning a school trip again needn't be as daunting as it might feel. Take a look at our guide with essential infor… https://t.co/rh3U8bxQsQ

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-09-24 10:12:41)

    RT @BellfieldPS: After a fantastic day of Laser Quest, Science Slime, Archery, the Climbing wall and Leap of Faith, we are ready for our la…

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-09-24 10:12:19)

    RT @BellfieldPS: Final morning. All packed and ready for our last activities. https://t.co/f15pGJtevA

  • Voyager School Travel (2021-09-23 15:48:23)

    We're so pleased to have organised Bellfield Primary's trip to @Butlins. School trips are back!😃 https://t.co/afvjbV2Mw7