"As parents we were naturally anxious about him going away and wondered how beneficial it would be for a week. On his return from the trip last month I can honestly say it was the best decision to have him partake. He made good buddies with his exchange student Fabian back last March/April and during Fabians week here he got to understand better the challenges of communication and also how to support someone learning a second language. On his trip to Germany he gained such confidence in speaking the language in the native country. He is well aware of his need for ongoing learning but communicating with Fabian, his parents, their friends and then the opportunities he got in the school and outside activities enhanced his ability and confidence even further. Getting the chance to speak at the school assembly in Germany whilst a challenge was a real achievement for him. He got some lovely feedback from Fabians parents and their adult friends. He was buzzing from the excitement of it all and really felt he learned lots from listening to the natives speak it especially he commented on understanding more complicated word order. He also enjoyed living the German life, from the food, activities and school life all of which added to the overall positive experience. He would very happily do another week again at some stage"
"The whole exchange has been a 100% positive experience for Thomas and for us as a family. Our exchange student Moritz was an absolute pleasure to have and as for his family in December ... Well, we were overwhelmed by their kindness. Thomas was completely at ease in their home, had the opportunity to taste traditional German food and on the Sunday the family gave him a loan of ski clothing and boots for the trip to the mountains, which was so thoughtful and made me realise how lucky he was - and I'm sure it was the same for the other kids too.
The exchange has been a very enriching experience. Both of us at home speak languages that are not our own, so we do understand the value of being immersed in the culture of the language you are learning - and we are delighted that our son had this opportunity with his German. Learning a language is a never-ending road and one week abroad will not make anyone fluent, but it still gives a flavour of how things are done in another country and it plants a seed for hopefully wanting to find out more! We certainly hope that our other children will be able to avail of a language exchange too. We are very positive and would like to see language exchanges become part of students' lives at Temple Carrig."
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