Hosting a French, German or Spanish visit is a great way to bring your childrens’ language learning alive.
Thank you for your interest in welcoming a group of foreign students into your school. This exciting experience is mutually beneficial for both your school and the foreign school as the thrill that comes from an international visit of young people the same age as your students will have very positive effects on the motivation of your students to understand more about other cultures and languages.
The initial steps
Let us explain step by step how the process works. Please be reassured that you will only be expected to do a minimum as we will do the rest for you.
Once the visiting group has been confirmed, we will need to find host families from your school and also a group of students who would like to volunteer as ‘Junior Euro Reps’.
The most effective way of promoting this is through assemblies, presentations in class and also emailing parents.
Once you have a list of interested families we arrange a home visit where we explain how being a host family works and ensure that the family, and where they live is appropriate. Host families are financially reimbursed for hosting foreign students.
We have had so many positive experiences of Davison families acting as host families – even those who had never done it before and were a little nervous said that it was an enriching experience and that they would love to do it again. It is a chance for everyone in the family to meet someone new and to learn about a different culture. It would give your students the chance to broaden their horizons by learning about a different way of life and as the foreign student would be of a similar age a friendship usually forms and we often find that the British host student is invited to visit to the foreign host student and their family. This is an amazing way to make a connection with a foreign language.
‘Madeleine has really been enjoying the whole experience, as have we all. Maria is lovely, and fits in well with our family. Thank you for giving us the opportunity.’
‘I just wanted to say that it was a pleasure looking after Luis this week, he was polite, friendly and fitted right into our family life. We will all miss him. He mentioned that he is coming over again next year and he would be more than welcome to stay here again. Luis was helping Millie with her Spanish last night, he was very patient with her questions.’
Junior Euro Reps
That is the name given to the group of students who are responsible for making the foreign students feel welcome in the school. They are the ones who take part in the bilingual project work and free activities with the foreign students. You can choose your list of Junior Euros Reps or apply directly to us.
‘I loved it this week going swimming and playing games with the students they were great fun and I learnt some new words and phrases.’
Kadie Marshall, UK Student
The whole school
The visit will create a general buzz of excitement throughout your school and will increase interest in foreign language learning in general, while at the same time fitting into the life of the school easily and efficiently. All that would be needed would be access to a reasonably large space (Hall, Gym, Drama Studio etc) and for the Junior Euro Reps to be allowed to miss between 4 – 6 lessons to take part in the bilingual project work.
Any extra participation from your and/or your colleagues would be welcome during the project work.
‘The Spanish school visit was an exciting event in our school calendar and it was great to see how excited all the young people were to get to know each other. Everything was run very smoothly and no there was no disruption to the rest of the school.’
Tony Davies, Deputy Head Teacher
Bilingual Games and Project Work
The language games that we use encourage the students to get to know one another while developing their linguistic skills as every activity involves foreign students speaking English and the foreign students speaking English and the English students speaking the foreign language. Although ideally it is better if your students have spoken the language before, it still works well even if some of the students are new to a language as long as they are keen to have a go.
The bilingual project is a small team competition. Students are randomly put into bilingual groups of approximately 2 foreign and 2 English students and then given a topic to discuss, for example, ‘School’, ‘Family’, ‘Food’, ‘Festivities’ etc. They are given specific tasks to complete such as a mind map and are asked to think of an original way of presenting their findings to the judges (the teachers!). The best 3 presentations can also be performed in a final assembly to the whole group if this fits into the timings and if the students are confident enough.
A month or so before the foreign students arrive, email contact will be established between Host families and the foreign students and between Junior Euro Reps and the foreign students. This gives everyone a chance to get to know each other a little before the programme starts and also allows everyone to practise their language skills.