When it comes to language learning, reading and writing may come faster than anything, but improving on speaking and listening is the hard part. It’s no doubt that actually speaking the language you’re learning can be pretty scary, but it really is the best way to improve! Here at WildChina, we are dedicated to connecting classroom subjects to larger ideas, and we have just the program for your students! We offer an 8-day Culture and Language Immersion program that includes language, history, community service, environmental science, and lots more!
What is Language Immersion?
Language immersion gives your students a chance to practice applying what they’ve learned in the real world. This method of language learning actually originated in Canada in the 1960s and is still used today. It can be hard to only speak a new language, but that’s what makes it so exciting! You know you’re learning new things when you’re making mistakes.
Spending time with native speakers of the language you’re learning can really speed the process along. However, we know it may be slightly difficult, which is why we propose using dual immersion during your trip.
Dual immersion is another type of language immersion where the dominant language (in your case, English) is spoken 10% of the time and the partner language (in your case, Mandarin Chinese) is spoken 90% of the time. Of course, the balance can be adjusted as needed to make your goal more realistic and attainable.
Why use Language Immersion?
Studies have shown that language immersion programs not only helped students achieve higher levels of proficiency and comprehension, but also metalinguistic awareness—how parts of different languages work together.
In other words, language immersion programs improve students’ ability to transfer what they’ve learned in the second language back to their native language. Cool, huh! If you’ve ever learned a second (or third, or fourth) language, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Learning via language immersion also builds intercultural skills, which have become increasingly in demand as the world continues to embrace diversity and globalization.
Language Activities during your trip to Taiwan
On the first day, you will arrive at Taipei Airport and enjoy the Taipei 101 view. The next day, we’ll start off right away with lots of language adventure activities at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭), starting on Fort Santo Domingo and ending on Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街). Students will get to use their brains and indulge in a sense of adventure.
You’ll get to explore the rich culture that can be found on Tamsui Old Street, filled with old houses and small shops as well as 小吃 (Xiao Chi, which literally translates to ‘little eats’), aka snacks and interesting things you may have never seen before! This all awaits you on your language immersion trip to Taiwan.
We have many more team-building games and activities ready for you upon request so that language immersion can be kept up throughout the entire trip. Some additional activities include visiting the Guang Fu Sugar Factory (光復糖廠) and Lin Tian Shan Old Logging Village (林田山文化園區).
Cultural Activities during your trip to Taiwan
Depending on when you are traveling, we’ll have different experts available for lectures on various Taiwanese topics, such as the history between Taiwan and Mainland China. Since Taiwan is a relatively small country, we’ve also planned a trip from Taipei to Hualien (花蓮) by train, during which you can gaze out the window and look at the beautiful landscape passing by.
Once we arrive in Hualien, we can go on a short hike along the beach where students may get a chance to see dolphins and whales, depending on the season.
Students will also be able to meet and learn about the Amis Indigenous peoples by doing a tribal field game. The Amis has a guesthouse called the Leader Village Taroko, where you and your students will stay and learn about their way of life. Another group of Amis Indigenous peoples you’ll meet are the Kiwit people.
With them, you’ll learn how to cook Kiwit cuisine, go fish hunting, and stay overnight in their traditional thatched house. WildChina guides can also take you to the Kiwit Tribes Museum and the Sungye Museum of Formosan Aborigines to learn about their culture and folklore.
Scenic routes, local cuisine, and camping!
Taiwan is filled with dozens of night markets so you and your students will definitely get your fill of the essential Taiwanese experience during your trip. A wide range of local foods can be found there, and our guides will give you an exhilarating tour of the snacks and the history of the markets.
We also have scavenger hunt games set up for you at the night markets. To fulfill your language immersion needs, our guides can give explanations of the snacks in both Mandarin Chinese and English. We’ll also go to the Shitipin Campground (石梯坪露營區) to have a BBQ dinner and movie night while continuing to practice Mandarin Chinese.
We’ll head back to Taipei by train and have dinner at the famous Toilet Restaurant, where everything (literally) is made in the shape of a toilet: the bowls, cups, chairs, dessert platters, and even tables (you’ll see when you get there).
The Toilet Restaurant is located on XiMenDing (西門町), a popular shopping district where students can take in all the arts and culture of the area. XiMenDing was actually established under the Japanese colonial government in the 20th century.
WildChina’s language and immersion trip to Taiwan is packed with education and entertainment. Language learning has never been more fun! Our Culture and Language Immersion program is designed with your learning objectives in mind, linking classroom material to experience-based learning.
In addition to language immersion, our program includes historical touchstones, outdoor education, and geography. We want to provide you and your students with invaluable exposure to the culture of Taiwan. Your students are guaranteed to remember this trip for the rest of their lives. Don’t just take our word for it, check out the testimonials from schools we’ve accommodated.