International Baccalaureate Spanish students in 11th and 12th grade were given the opportunity to take an immersive Spanish language trip to Barcelona, Spain. Differing from a trip intended for exclusively cultural appreciation, this trip was specifically designed by IB Spanish and French Teacher, Jenny Allemand and MS/SrS Spanish Teacher, Francisca Alcantara to provide students with interactive experiences meant to test their receptive skills and productive skills in Spanish.
Trip organizers explain that the trip was planned for students "to immerse themselves in Spanish culture and to give them the opportunity to speak the language on a daily basis during four consecutive days. Our main goals were to practice the language, to dive into Spanish culture through cultural visits and events, and to indulge in Spanish food. We spoke only Spanish with the students and encouraged them to shift their minds to Spanish for the full trip".
Beginning by switching their phones to the Spanish language setting at the airport and ending by filling out the hotel's feedback form when checking out, students engaged in as much Spanish language immersion as possible. During the tirp, organizers planned regular challenges to encourage students to speak with locals, such as asking someone on the street to teach them a tongue-twister in Spanish. Students recorded these events and won points by achieving the challenges the fastest.
Students visited the most famous sightseeing places in Barcelona like the Sagrada Familia, the Palau de la Música Catalana, the park Güell, the Casa Batlló, the Barrio Gótico and the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, and the Barceloneta Beach. After each visit or activity, students wrote their reflections on the shared Padlet of the class which became the official blog of the trip.
Ms. Allemand and Ms. Alcantara sent students online surveys to fill in to get to know how they liked the visit, what they were remembering, what surprised them the most, etc...
"Food was also a big part of the trip since Spanish culture is full of tasty treats: from breakfast to dinner the students could indulge in Spanish delicacies including pan con tomate, tapas, tortilla de patatas, bocadillo de jamón ibérico, paella, papas bravas, and so much more!"
This trip was a mix of astonishing visits, fun challenges, delightful food tasting, and constructive reflections about the days we spent in the most cosmopolitan city in Spain.