Monday, 19 March 2012 9:22 AM
When it comes to getting to grips with a language, there is nothing like actually spending some time in the country itself, listening and talking to native speakers. Fortunately for French language students, France is easy to reach, making it ideal for an educational day trip.
Boasting multiple ports, Normandy is close enough to the UK to be suitable to visit in a single day; however, it is well worth spending longer here to really make the most of it. After all, the destination boasts an incredibly rich history and culture that's perfect for cross-curriculum learning with disciplines like art and maths.
School trips to the region can include excursions to a host of fascinating sites, where young scholars will be able to apply their current knowledge to real-life, everyday situations, as well as expand their vocabulary and grammar understanding.
There are a number of spots ideal for practising common conversational topics. Head to a local bakery, for example, and your class can order some regional treats, combining language learning with a taste of real French culture. A visit to a hypermarket is a must if you want your students to have an authentic and quintessentially French shopping experience, while the Bayeaux Market is another excellent place for this kind of exercise.
To incorporate a little history into your itinerary, visit the Bayeaux Tapestry. This world-famous embroidered cloth depicts England's fall to the French in 1066 in incredible detail, making it an absolute must-see – and a particularly good one for any students also studying history.
In a similar vein, it is well worth taking a trip to the D-Day landings beaches, such as Arromanches. Here, you'll find relics from World War II, while a visit to the Arromanches 360 Cinema and Landings Museum will tell the story behind them.
Situated among sandbanks between Normandy and Brittany, Mont St Michael is another must-see on school trips to France. This fabulous Benedictine Abbey is striking both for its rocky islet location and its wonderful Gothic design. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built between the 11th and 16th centuries and is a great place to take students.