Pupils take a fancy to French life during trip

Sixth form pupils immersed themselves in local culture on a trip to northern France during the Easter break.

Twelve pupils put their language and interpersonal skills to excellent use as they were encouraged to eat French and think French on the week-long trip.

The travellers visited Armentières in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in northern France where they worked in local businesses and stayed with French families.

Armentieres trip - hair

The majority of the pupils worked in primary and secondary schools whilst Simon Fraser worked in a restaurant. David Ward used his language skills in a shop and Koye Lijadu helped deliver drinks to cafes and restaurants. Pupils also spent a day visiting Lille including a trip to the beautiful Musée des Beaux Arts.

Ali Drabu, who worked in a secondary school, said: “The French work experience programme has been such a rewarding experience. Having spent a week absorbed in French culture, language and daily life, I feel so much more confident and fluent in the language than I ever did before this trip.”

Simon Fraser agreed with Ali’s assessment: “It was a great experience, being immersed in the language was naturally a challenge but it allowed me to test what I knew and I began to tune into more colloquial French, as opposed to what we study in lessons.”

Armentieres trip - group shot

Georgia Burns, whose work experience was in a primary school, added: “Having only experienced France through the almost clichéd, touristy parts of Paris, it was eye-opening to submerge myself in authentic French culture. The family I stayed with were utterly amazing, by not only helping me to considerably improve my French communication skills, but also by giving me an invaluable insight into northern French traditions and colloquialisms. I have stayed in touch with them and have even considered going back to visit them in the summer – I might have cried when I had to leave them!’

French teacher Mr David Lorentz organised the trip and was really pleased about how the trip went. “The pupils completely threw themselves into French life and had many great opportunities to use and improve their vocabulary. It was a challenging experience but one that was ultimately rewarding and one that the pupils won’t forget.”

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