Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet students reading Spanish recently spent a few days in Vejer de la Frontera, a village in the south of Spain, near Cádiz city.
Most of the students involved were those who are currently studying Spanish 5: i.e. third year students that have been studying the language for three years at our school). A few of them were second year students from S2D, who are taking the Languages program).
All in all 17 students and 3 teachers visited Spain between March 10-17th.
"The students stayed with local families who are involved in an exchange program– one or two students per family," explains Ms Bejar, who teaches Spanish at IEGS. "They attended lessons in the morning between 09:00 to 12:50 and in the afternoons they had different kinds of cultural and sports activities."
"A couple of times they were able to enjoy a wonderful beach called El Palmar," says Ms Bejar, admitting that it also happens to be one of her favorites in Spain.
After school activities included surfing, volleyball and trips to the beach to enjoy the sunshine.
"Another day we visited the city of Cádiz city and spent some time at the beach there as well," says Ms Bejar.
IEGS students also spent time with secondary school students in Vejer de la Frontera, talking in Spanish and spending time together. The students also played a "Spain vs Sweden" football match.
"The trip was undoubtedly a success," says Ms Bejar. "It was, definitively, a great success for all people involved. Not only for us, the teachers, or our students, but for the Spanish families and school staff in Spain as well. They were really delighted working with our kids."
The benefit of this kind of trip for students is that it gives them a chance to use their Spanish in Spain.
"Our students could see what it's like in real life to put their knowledge of Spanish into practice," says Ms Bejar. "Out of traditional classrooms they really needed to make an effort and try to communicate with people in Spanish, the majority of whom can't speak English or Swedish.
"A language trip is also a way to develop a strong connection with a foreign language, which is a key component of their motivation to keep on studying," says Ms Bejar.
"It was also a very positive experience for the students in Spain. They enjoyed helping our students speak in Spanish and were excited to see how sporty Swedish students are. Young people in Spain don't practice sport as much as in Sweden. It was great to see the interaction between our two cultures."