Over the last three weeks, we’ve given you different ideas for three trips that could help you get the most out of the last warm weekends of the year. Something else you might have noticed is that each of the trips could also help you learn something. The Traumschleife Rheingold has signs all along the way that teach hikers about the areas they are walking through. The Pfalzgrafenstein and the Blücher Museum give visitors interesting perspectives on important historical events.
It’s no accident that you could learn something from each of the trips we suggested. TIP TOP is largely based on the idea that learning should be active and enjoyable. And recently we’ve created something that takes this philosophy outside the classroom: the TIP TOP Day Out.
If you’ve read our past Learning Nuggets, you’ve heard about the Day Out before. If not, the idea of the Day Out is that TIP TOP trainers lead a group on an outdoor excursion for an afternoon. Along the way, the group does activities with each other that help them practice their English while having a great time.
When we created the Day Out, we kept two important ideas in mind. Below you can find out what those ideas were and why we think following them is great for learning:
1. Create a casual atmosphere
No matter how comfortable you are with a teacher or other coworkers, there is always pressure when you speak a foreign language in a classroom or business situation. On the Day Out, we want that pressure to disappear. For this afternoon, the trainers and people in the group are just friends, and everyone is there simply to enjoy themselves while having a chance to practice a language they are learning.
Being outdoors also helps keep things casual. How? Think about how differently people usually are when you meet them outdoors instead of in a building. You are probably more likely to use the more casual “du” instead of “Sie” when meeting people for the first time on a hike rather than in an indoor situation. Another example is how in Norway people in town will rarely say “hello” or “good evening” when passing each other on the street, but as soon as they are hiking or cross-country skiing, it’s very normal to wave and say “hei hei!”. There just seems to be something about the outdoors or just being in nature that makes us more at ease.
With the pressure off and the relaxed atmosphere of the outdoors, we think our Day Out groups will find it much easier to speak with each other than in class, helping them gain confidence in their English-speaking skills.
2. Make sure it’s fun
This is a goal for almost everything TIP TOP does. We think fun is a key aspect of learning, and the Day Out is a part of that idea. Throughout the Day Out, participants take part in activities that not only let them practice English but let them do it in a way that is meant to be extremely enjoyable. You’ll learn things like what animal your groupmates would want to be turned into if they were changed into one by a witch, talk about stories you likely last heard as a child, and go around castle ruins both learning new words and taking funny pictures with new friends. The idea is that learning on the Day Out should feel like play, not work.
We wanted to make sure you had enough warning to fit it on your calendar, so we’re telling you now that our last Day Out this year is on Sunday, November 10.
We’ll be taking a hike to the Rheingrafenstein in Bad Münster am Stein, and there’ll be plenty of interesting activities on the way there and back. You can learn more about what we have planned on our website. If you’re interested sign up by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spots are limited so let us know early enough in advance to make sure there’s enough space for you.
We hope to see you then, but no matter what you do, have a great weekend!
By the way, check out our Facebook page for daily tips and tricks.
might have noticed – du wirst bemerkt haben
signs all along the way – überall Schilder entlang des Weges
hikers – Wanderer
no accident – kein Zufall
practice their English – üben ihr Englisch
keep in mind – im Auge behalten
always pressure – immer Druck
foreign language – fremde Sprache
disappear – verschwinden
keep things casual – Dinge leicht, locker nehmen
instead of – anstelle von
on a hike – beim Wandern
passing each other on the street – sich auf der Strasse treffen
cross-country skiing – Langlauf
make us more at ease – macht uns entspannter
with the pressure off – ohne den Druck
gain confidence – Vertrauen gewinnen
extremely enjoyable – extrem spaßig
by a witch – von einer Hexe