English immersion – farm visits and supermarkets!
After the amazing March weather we were hoping for a bright, sunny Easter but it was not to be. April came with lots of ‘April showers’, however it didn’t stop us from getting out and about with our next group from Holland. Here expertise ranged from food technology, through finance to agriculture so there was activity and content to suit everyone.
One of the classroom activities which I like to do at the beginning and end of the programme is to get everybody to make a short presentation about their work. Usually at the beginning this is a way of introducing oneself and it is quite informal. However, at the end of the programme it is a more formal affair and everybody prepares a short talk about some aspect of their job (or sometimes it’s a hobby or interest) and then makes a presentation to the group.
Given the mix of the April group our lessons included a diverse selection of language and vocabulary from business language and agriculture to food. We also spent time every day on improving speaking and listening skills and of course some grammar too!
One great exercise given the group was a series of activities in a local town. They each had 3 tasks to perform in the town centre from finding out the price of a 2-night stay in a local hotel, to finding out opening times of a tourist attraction. One student even had to buy a specific type of coffee! All of these tasks were done individually and with the actual people who were working in these shops and organisations. This is one great advantage of being in a small place as my colleague who set up the exercise was able to prepare this activity with the various people and the exercise was really authentic yet not too scary.
We also visited the brewery for a fascinating tour – we almost got swept away by the rain on the way! We went to a local organic farm – it was lambing time so we learnt a lot of up-to-date information about this really important period in the farming calendar.
We also visited supermarkets with the food technology students looking at how things are displayed, how the produce looks, comparing prices etc.. Who could have thought that a supermarket visit could be interesting?
Although many of the visits and activities are related to work or interests some are also connected with local history and culture. Places we often like to visit are York, Durham and the dales and moors all of which are within 30 minutes.
The seaside is often a favourite visit too and only 1 hour away. Whitby is especially interesting and a great place to get fish & chips!
As the pub (although not as much as feature of British life as in the past) is something that all our students want to experience and so inevitably we will find ourselves on at least one evening in a pub (our own village one is a great place to relax and meet English people). It is often a good way to spend the final evening before leaving and whether summer or winter pubs always have a welcoming feel – by the open fire or outside in the beer garden.
So it’s goodbye to another great group of students and now we await the next. One more then a break and after that the summer will soon be here and the long evenings when so much more can be packed into a day.
So if you want to be part of the Fleetham Lodge Experience and really perfect your English skills in this beautiful corner of the UK then contact me and we’ll make it happen!!