What programs should I learn on vacation
Learn English on vacation: family language trip to Malta
Language travel expert Maria Schulz
Our interview partner Maria Schulz from Sprachdirekt | © Sprachdirekt
Maria Schulz has been working for Sprachdirekt since 2013 and is in charge of the Maltalingua language school in Malta. Before that, she studied tourism in the Netherlands and in the summer gained experience as a group leader of a youth travel group. The 28-year-old is a family person and loves to travel. "Due to globalization, learning languages is important for every age group. It helps to broaden your personal horizons and get to know different cultures."
How useful and effective do you think it is to learn English while on vacation? Shouldn't the (summer) vacation be there for relaxation?
Personally, I think that children and young people should relax and have fun during the holidays. However, this does not necessarily contradict a language trip.
The combination of “learning with fun and vacation” is incredibly important, especially when it comes to school language trips. In our language schools, the lessons are always designed to be interactive, so that the young participants are only reminded of the “normal school lessons” very little or not at all. The aim is for the young people to lose their inhibitions about the English language through a balanced mix of language courses, sports, games and excursions. In addition, especially in summer, participants from all over the world come together, which means that the language course participants get to know new international friends and enjoy a great holiday program.
In addition to learning English, sport and fun are not neglected | © Sprachdirekt
They offer language trips to Malta - to be honest, the Mediterranean island doesn't come to mind when you think of learning English. Why do you think that the holiday island is a good destination for language travel?
Malta is an ideal destination for learning English, as the Mediterranean island was an English colony for a long time and English is an official language here. In addition there is the sunny Mediterranean climate and a rich cultural offer.
Since the cost of living in Malta is cheaper than in Great Britain, for example, and the British pound is currently very strong, a language trip to Malta is usually cheaper than a language trip to England.
For example, there are two points in favor of a trip to Malta.
They offer a vacation program for 8 to 12 year olds and one for 12 to 17 year old students. How do the two offers differ?
The biggest difference is that the youth program for 12 to 17 year old course participants is fully supervised. The young people usually travel to Malta alone or with friends and take part in the language course. In the afternoon and evening there are excursions and games and the young people spend the night with a Maltese host family or together with the group leaders in a hotel.
The family program for children aged 8 to 12, however, requires that their parents travel to Malta with them. The children take part in the language course from Monday to Friday as well as in three afternoon activities. In the evening and on the other days, the children spend time with their parents.
We would like to take a closer look at the program for younger children. It's a family offer. How exactly can you imagine the stay for the parents? Do you also attend the courses or do you have free time? Can the parents also improve their English on vacation?
The children have English lessons in the mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and are taught in a small group. During this time, the parents can, for example, take part in a standard English language course for adults. This also takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Alternatively, parents can spend time together or with friends.
In the mornings, language lessons are the order of the day in Malta | © Sprachdirekt
Families who took part in the family program positively emphasized the fact that they could later exchange their experiences in the language courses.
Our partner language school Maltalingua offers language courses for adults all year round. Therefore, the school mainly has single or double rooms in different hotels. If you travel to Malta as a family of three or four, it is better to book a package tour to St. Julians and choose a family-friendly hotel or holiday apartment. I am happy to give interested parties more information or send them a list of family-friendly accommodations.
If one parent is traveling with a child, homestay accommodation would also be an option if both are taking an English course. It's been a great experience for many, and people continue to speak English in the evenings.
How much time do you think it takes to improve your English skills while on vacation? Which program would you recommend?
Even if everyone learns at different speeds, we get feedback from many language course participants that you can improve your English skills sustainably within two weeks. Young course participants in particular need two to three days to settle in and only then begin to learn properly. A week's language course, for example, is therefore very short.
The school recommends that the children take part in the afternoon activities so that they can continue to use and practice the English language in their free time. In this way, what you have learned in the morning can be playfully deepened throughout the day.
And what costs should parents expect for a two-week language trip? Are there any additional expenses that are not yet covered by your offer?
A two-week language course with 20 teaching units and three afternoon activities for the children costs 365 euros during the spring, Pentecost or autumn holidays. During the summer holidays, the course costs 486 euros.
Depending on which accommodation option you choose, there will be additional costs for accommodation and flight.
How do you guarantee high quality?
Sprachdirekt as a language travel agent has the great advantage of choosing the partner language schools in the travel countries yourself. The selection of our schools is subject to a strict catalog of criteria. For example, it is important to us that the teachers are native speakers and have academic qualifications, that they offer a well thought-out teaching concept and that customer-friendly service always comes first in the language school. But also the location, distance of the accommodation, quality of the accommodation and the school building, offered program of activities etc. play an important role in the selection of our partner schools.
We visit all of our partner schools on a regular basis, so we can see for ourselves the quality of our schools.
UOur partner language school Maltalingua in Malta, for example, has the coveted EQUALS certificate, which speaks for the excellence of the school (due to its very high quality criteria, only two language schools in Malta have so far received this certificate). In addition, the quality of the schools is regularly checked with the help of feedback from our customers.
What sets you apart from other institutions that offer English language travel during the holidays - e. B. in Malta - offer?
Our partner school in Malta is a very personally run school. Language students - young or old - are taught exclusively by qualified native speakers who are trained to teach English as a foreign language. In addition, the school has German contacts on site if the children and young people have questions or concerns that they would like to address in their mother tongue.
Even without parents - the group leaders are always available for the children | © Sprachdirekt
The advantage of a German agent is that we can be reached easily and directly by phone or email. We have detailed, up-to-date information on all programs and are in daily contact with our partner language schools. You will receive your travel details by post and, if you live nearby, you are welcome to personally get a picture of us in our office in Munich.
How can families book the language trip?
If you would like to book the family language trip, you are welcome to contact me in advance to clarify any open questions. As soon as everything is clear and you would like to book the trip, please fill out the online booking form: www.sprachdirekt.de/buchung.
Please select "English" as the language and "Malta - pupils" as the destination. You can currently select the student program for 12 to 17 year olds. When booking the family language trip, please enter the keyword "Family language trip" in the comment field. Soon it will also be possible to select the family program directly.
More info: www.sprachdirekt.de/sprachreisen-malta
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