What better place for our students to gain enlightenment than the ‘City of Light’?
Paris, the home of some of the greatest philosophical, academic and artistic minds, along with a host of the world’s most celebrated architecture and sights, is in no way short of inspiration.
With the examination horizon ever-nearing, a group of seven Modern Languages students headed to the région parisienne to broaden their learning bases and give their French speaking skills an alpha testing before the real thing in late April.
Over four nights in the French capital, the students had a non-stop schedule in order to include all the scholarly and cultural offerings: from lessons in a French college to the wonders in the Louvre; triumphs in cooking lessons to the Arc de Triomphe.
First year, John McAney, was one student who took full advantage of all the trip had to offer and felt he’d made giant steps on his return home: “Going to the French college was quite daunting to start with. I’m not the best at meeting new people anyway, so I thought it being people who don’t even speak the language would make it even more difficult, but it wasn’t.”
John, who joined us from Wirral Grammar School to study French, Psychology, Fine Art and Graphics, continued: “We had to speak French in the college but I think having to do that and being put on the spot a little bit really helped with my confidence, especially when people seemed a bit surprised in there when I was speaking the language! I think maybe they expected us to stick with English the entire time, so seeing people being appreciative of our efforts also helped a lot. I suppose there was a safety net of being able to converse in English if we wanted to but not using that safety net made for a much better experience.”
Talking about a different sort of achievement, John added: “Going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower was pretty breath-taking. I don’t like heights at all but I felt like I had to do that so I’m really happy that I did!”
French teacher, Viviane Ouvradou, who led the trip, said: “The development in using the language is great for the students, but I also felt like they had the chance to learn some life-lessons too. Speaking with new people from a new place can be difficult but they all showed genuine interest in listening and making new friends.
Viviane concluded: “It’s about facing fears a little bit, whether that’s going up the Eiffel Tower, speaking the different language or communicating with strangers and improving interpersonal skills.”