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INge Hol, Director of Educational programme at Spark Spanish

Inge Hol, School Group Director

This week at Spark, we are very excited to be receiving two school groups from the UK! This coming 23rd of March, King’s Warwick High School from Warwick will be joining us for a week of Spanish lessons and other fun activities and excursions!

We have a fun and jam-packed programme with excursions around the wonderful town of El Puerto de Santa Maria and also a day trip to marvellous Cadiz. We’ll be doing activities including learning Flamenco and seeing the famous show in Jerez ‘Como bailan los Caballos Andaluces’! We are truly looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing experiences with the students and their accompanying teachers, Julie and Mair, and we know that all of our host families are very eager to meet the students too!

From everybody here at Spark, I, Inge, Director of School Groups programmes, and Nico, the chaperone and excursion leader, and Cecilia, the family coordinator and their Spanish teacher, would like to wish the group a safe journey. We look forward to welcoming you very soon and helping create an experience of a life time. Un saludo desde una España soleada.

INge Hol, Director of Educational programme at Spark Spanish

Inge Hol, School Group Director

With our partners Terra Linga and Language and Friendship, we are very excited to be receiving this coming 15th of March, Clear Lake High School all the way from wonderful Indiana in the USA!

We have a jam-packed programme with excursions around the wonderful town of El Puerto de Santa Maria and also a day trip to marvellous Cadiz. We’re be doing activities including learning Flamenco and Clear Lake students doing a presentacion en español 🙂 for their hosts here in Spain. We are truly looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing experiences with the students and their accompanying teachers, Kama and Andy, and we know that all of our host families are very eager to meet the students.

From everybody here at Spark, I, Inge, Director of School Groups programmes, and Nico, the chaperone and excursion leader, and Cecilia, the family coordinator, would like to wish the group a safe journey. We look forward to welcoming you very soon and helping create an experience of a life time. Un saludo desde una España soleada.

What an amazing time we have had with the girls from Harpeth Hall School so far! We have seen and done so many fun activities and excursions in and around El Puerto de Santa Maria, the castles and cathedrals we have seen were amazingly beautiful and we learnt a lot about the history of Spain in them as well! We’ve even learnt a little Spanish too! It’s amazing how only 8 girls can bring so much fun and laughter to Spark! Everyone from me, to Inge, to our English teachers, to the people of El Puerto de Santa Maria have had the pleasure of getting to know these girls, and what fun that has been!

School Group - Harpeth School 2013

From the moment the girls arrived in Spain, they have been immersed into everything amazing about Spanish culture and the Spanish way of life! The girls have had wonderful experiences with their homestay families, for example, Kendal went to Caceres to meet the relatives of her homestay family! This isn’t the only way that our homestay families have shown how Spaniards live. The homestay families of Aidan and Caroline went to Cadiz to see the beginning of Carnival and experience “La Eriza”; one of the most traditional Gaditan celebrations! Our homestay families have been amazing and so welcoming to all the girls, and for that we are truly grateful!

We at Spark have had the pleasure of integrating these girls into every aspect Spark Languages offer. Lots of the homestay families the girls stayed with have sons or daughters who actually study English at Spark, so not only have the girls been able to learn Spanish, but they’ve also been able to help our English students with their English and practice their Spanish at the same time!

It has been lots of fun leading these girls and I look forward to events to come!

Ceci

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Here are some comments of what the girls thought about their experience at Spark;

Harpeth Hall School - Sevilla“My time here in Spain has been amazing! I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had here. I went from barely speaking in Spanish – simple ‘holas and adioses’ – to my teachers constantly telling me to be quiet! A favourite memory from my time here at Spark was the flamenco dance classes. I loved learning something so unique to the Spanish culture. I was even able to take what I learned home and show my host family! My host sister gladly joined in as my partner and we did all four of the flamenco dances. Although I was a little upset that I never got to try on a flamenco dress, I still enjoyed every minute of class time. In addition to dance classes, I enjoyed our daily excursions to surrounding cities and ports. I was able to connect historical references to sights and draw connections to what we learnt about in our Spanish classes. I am so thankful that I have been able to embark on this great journey – it is the experience of a lifetime that I will remember forever.” Caroline Grace Williams

“The excursions that we had during the day were amazing. This year I am studying Art History so we study many architectural sights which include some of those that we have seen in Spain. My favourite was the mosque in Córdoba. The Islamic/Christian mix that we learnt in the pages of our text book came alive in front of us. It was beautiful and I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it as well as I could if I had not taken the class and been immersed in Spain.” Delana Alviri

“My favourite memory while I was in Spain was with my homestay family. They took me out to lunch to meet the rest of the family. They were so nice to me and welcomed me with open arms. The love in the room was indescribable and the food was delicious! This evening that I spent with the family was a time I will never forget!” Liza Martin

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BSB at Plaza de Toros

BSB at Plaza de Toros

¡Hola Chicos! I just want to put some words to this great semana. From the moment we got our hands up and hugged together until this viernes en El Puerto de Santa Maria, I feel more like saying: ¡hasta pronto!

El lunes, we analyzed the grafitti at la Plaza de Toros with our guest and former torero, Heredia. ¿Tenéis alguna duda sobre su punto de vista? La yincana took over y sacamos una fotografía with a famous bullfighter. Smelling los barriles de vino y jerez at Bodega Osborne was the previous step before hugging la estatua de Rafael Alberti. Corrimos por El Castillo de San Marcos y deletreamos Y.O.L.O. Después de comer, disfrutamos de la playa y los chiringuitos.

Al día siguiente, por las calles de El Puerto de Santa María, we visited el mundo gitano. An experience that ended con lenguas azules. After the Spanish class, comenzó la locura por las fuentes de agua at the Alcazar de Jerez de la Frontera. Temperature rising and estrellas with eight sides everywhere.

Ed led the band at la Maestranza con la canción ‘Hey, Soul Sister’! Un Miércoles con lots of comfortable and interesting preguntas. In the Catedral we discovered where Cristobal Colón is nowadays and, from la Giralda, vimos toda la ciudad de Sevilla. ¡Starbucks fue la respuesta al calor! Francesco nos ayudó a ingresar al Alcazar de Sevilla and we saw pavos reales y muchos diseños. Walking in the sun was una excusa para visitar the mother of all fuentes de agua en la Plaza de España.

After celebrating with sus familias españolas por la noche, el jueves ayudamos a una señora andaluza de camino al río Guadalete. En Cádiz, compartimos la vista panorámica desde la Torre Tavira, hicimos compras y disfrutamos de la playa. También, nos deleitamos con el discurso de Gregorio antes de la cena. What an intense espectáculo flamenco! ¿Podéis encontrar algunas palabras para describirlo?

BSB at Plaza de Toros

BSB at Plaza de Toros

Hopefully, you experienced a culturally different week with your host family around El Puerto de Santa Maria and are ready to go de vuelta a casa!

I loved to get to know each one of you! Muchas gracias for sharing such a beautiful time! Keep doing círculos. ¡Un gran abrazo!

Nicolas Argentato
Homestay Chaperone
nico.argentato@sparklanguages.com

School Groups in Spain – British School of Brussels

School Groups in SpainWe are very excited to be receiving the British School Group from Brussels on 24th June! We have a jam-packed programme with excursions to Seville, Jerez, Cádiz, flamenco dance classes and show, Spanish classes and tours around our lovely city, El Puerto de Santa María. We are really looking forward to doing these activities with the students and their accompanying teachers Kerry and Melanie and we know that all of our host families are very eager to meet the students. From everybody at Spark, we Nico, the chaperone and excursion leader- and Cecilia, the family coordinator- would like to wish the group a safe journey. We look forward to welcoming you very soon!

Spanish for School Groups
¡Hola Chicos! I just want to put some words to this great semana, as we say adios.

We started in tune; learning when to hug and laugh, when to andar casually through beautiful Spanish towns and when to eat más helados.

El jueves, after a brief explanation done by a friend from the Plaza de Toros and completing the first yincana challenge, we headed to the Museo Municipal of El Puerto. Could you please tell me what you saw inside of the museum? The sunny vibrations guided the whole group back outdoors in less than diez minutos and directly to the caballo and carriage in front of the Iglesia Mayor. Then, a spontaneous tejas tasting and a visit to the Castillo de San Marcos were followed by wise palabras: “be good and, if you can’t be good, be careful”. Inspired, we arrived at Da Massimo, our first helados encounter. We juggled along the Paseo Marítimo on our way to the beach, where it was beautiful to see your joyful faces by el océano in those dos horas! Through sunset, we had more fun practicing language activities with Spark’s English academy estudiantes.

El viernes we found shelter from the storm and the explanation to a very controversial art form in the Maestranza. The sounds of Sevilla changed from a peaceful river, where we had our bocadillos, to the narrow and lively calles; full of color, horns and personajes únicos. Whispering, gathered in our perfectly shaped circles, we visited the Catedral and Giralda. En el patio de los naranjos we respectfully sang together ‘Three Little Birds’ and ‘Let It Be’. Magical musical moment! The visits to the Alcazar and Plaza de España tasted like, of course, ¡más helados!

Hopefully, you experienced a culturally different fin de semana with your host family around El Puerto de Santa Maria and are ready to continue on your journey to Barcelona!

Muchas gracias for sharing such a beautiful time! We loved to get to know you and the Prairie High School group. ¡Un gran abrazo!

Nico and the rest of your Spark friends!

Spanish Course for Schools