Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire

The underlying rationale for the domestic (North American) field trips for students of French that we have been operating for nearly 30 years is that unless students become interested early, on some level, in the history, food, art and architecture (in short the people and the culture) of the places where the languages they are studying are spoken, they will not stay enrolled in the language for the joy of conjugating irregular verbs.

We think of conjugating verbs, though obviously necessary, as the filling the pail, and for nearly 30 years, we have endeavored to light the fire for more than 100,000 students on short, affordable, domestic field trips to Montréal and Québec City.

To ignite the fire, the study of French has to be relevant and interesting, and it has to be fun (or conversely, it should not seem irrelevant, uninteresting and no fun). In any case, there is no better way to make it fun and interesting, than to get students out of their zip codes, with teachers who can connect what they’re teaching in class to what is happening in the real world. This is no less important to a student of French than looking though a microscope is to a biology student or using a Bunsen Burner is to a student of chemistry. Seeing is believing.

Students will read French signs and hear French spoken from the moment they board an airplane or cross the Québec border on their bus, and they will have many opportunities to use language skills that they’ve learned in class in every-day situations. On location in Montréal or Québec City, students will converse with our bilingual guides as they move around the cities while visiting museums, attending workshops, and dining in French and French-Canadian restaurants, and they learn on our trips that they can read French, understand French, and be understood in French in the real world.

The fundamental lesson is that the study of French is a practical tool, in an increasingly bilingual American workforce, in the global economy, and your children are not conjugating verbs for nothing.

Indeed, we hope that the students on our trips will learn more about the world and its ways in three days in Montréal or Québec City or Paris than during any other three days of the school year.

And, we hope and expect that the fire we ignite in your son or daughter will stay lit for a lifetime.

Our Mission: To keep the study of French fun, interesting and relevant, by keeping high-quality, pedagogically significant French immersion field trips within the reach of every deserving student.

2014 (c) Copyright French on Location. All Rights Reserved.