If you’re an English-language teacher in Montpellier (or anywhere, really), you’re probably looking for some new and exciting ways to help your students learn English. One really great way to do that is through day trips, because it combines fun activities and practical application of the knowledge.
Fun: The best way to learn
When your children were first learning to speak, did they use vocabulary books? Did you? Probably not. So, why should it be any different for people, especially children, learning their second language?
That’s why Talk to Teach recommends that morning lessons with French students should be followed up with fun afternoon activities – conducted in English – to allow the students to practice what they’ve learnt.
The benefits of learning English as a second language through interaction, play, and fun activities, are vast, but importantly, they include:
Showing a real-world application for what they are learning
Assisting with knowledge retention
Encouraging communication; which helps develop speech, listening, and language skills
How to choose a fun learning activity
These activities, like the lessons that you prepare, should be tailored to the age and ability of the student.
If the student is a beginner, then it will probably be more useful to take them on an everyday activity, like to the cinema, where they can practice common words. Not everyone needs to know how to say “petit galop” in English - that’s canter, by the way. More advanced students can be taken on unique activities, where they can practice a wider vocabulary; i.e. words related to horse riding.
Similarly, younger students may need tamer activities. While teenagers may relish the idea of learning how to wakeboard or love the thrill of figuring out an escape room, younger children may be out of their depth.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the activities need to interest the learner or they won’t get much from the experience. That’s why you should do your best to find out what interests your students before you book an activity – preferably, before they arrive at your house. After all, some young people will love going to an English-language rock concert, but some would be happier having a calm evening with an English-language book and a cup of Earl Grey tea.
There are many ways for French students to have fun while learning English, so try a few of those listed below and then try some more to find what works for you. Remember, it’s important to mix up the fun activities, as even something really fun can get boring after a while, both for student and teacher.
The best day trips for English-language teachers in Montpellier
Hopefully, you’re now convinced about the benefits of teaching and learning through fun activities, so we’re going to show you some of the best day trips (or more likely afternoon excursions) in and around Montpellier that will help your students to learn English whilst having fun. Also, we’re sure that you’ll have a great time too!
Visit Le Bookshop
If your student loves to read, then why not take them to this English-specialized bookshop? It has a wide collection of English books from every genre and for every age group, which can help inspire your student to learn on their own time by settling down with a good book. Make sure to tell the student in advance, so that they can take some pocket money with them for those inevitable book binges.
Le Bookshop also hosts French-English conversation exchanges twice a week.
Watch a film at the Gaumont Cinema
Occasionally, the Gaumont will show English-language films with French subtitles, which can be an entertaining outing for students; especially if they’ll get to see the latest releases before their friends.
Escape from the Xcape Room
Escape rooms are all the rage right now and they can be a great place for students to test their English under (controlled) pressure. The Xcape Room offers an English-language version of their quests, which requires problem solving and communication to succeed. Interestingly, these are the same skills needed to learn English.
Win a pub quiz at the Shakespeare English Pub
There’s nothing more English than a pub and this quaint offering hits all the right spots. They host a regular pub quiz, where you and your students can show off your trivia knowledge. This will really test your student’s English-language skills and knowledge of English culture.
Play games at the Baraka Jeux
If your student loves games, then this game bar is the place to go. It’s filled with pool tables, an electric car track that takes up the majority of the floor, and over 3,000 board games. This is another activity that will encourage communication, as well as increasing their vocabulary.
Arrange a meet up with other English-language speakers
The MeetUp website is great for encouraging people to meet up with like-minded people, so why not use it to find fun English language activities that your student might enjoy, where they’ll be surrounded by English-language speakers? This could be anything from yoga to a crochet circle to a bike-riding trip, but it will mean the student gets used to talking with other English speakers, besides yourself.
Ride a horse at the Haras du Grés
For those students who prefer the great outdoors and love spending time with animals, why not treat them to an English-language horse-riding lesson? These stables cater for a wide range of abilities and offer instruction in English, meaning that your student could learn two new skills during their time with you.
Home-based activities to help French students learn whilst having fun
The above activities are all tried and tested activities for English learners and their teachers to enjoy in Montpellier, but there’ll always be some days when you want to stay in your own home. That’s why it’s always good to plan some backup activities. Here are some of the best that we’ve found to promote engagement and learning.
Watching an English-language film on DVD
Close the curtains, make some popcorn, and put the French subtitles on for a fun afternoon of movies and munchies. For the best results, choose a film that your student knows and likes, as they’ll be more engaged.
Having a cream-tea at home
This is super easy because all you’ll need is some clotted cream, strawberry jam, a couple of scones per person, and a pot of English Breakfast Tea. Teach your students whether they should be putting jam or cream onto their scones first… we wouldn’t dare comment.
Completing an art project
Whether it’s drawing, painting, or paper mache, you can help French students to learn English through art by encouraging them to talk about their project as they make it (i.e. “I’m drawing my dog” or “I need to use more red paint”).
Word games can be great for helping students to form words and expand their vocabulary, particularly attaching prefixes or suffixes to root words in Scrabble.
As you can see, learning English can and should be fun, for student and teacher alike. By adding in some of these activities to your traditional teaching routine, you can really improve the learning process.