España por favor

Dated: 17 March 2023

This academic year has seen a welcome return to international travel for Woodhouse students. 28 of our intrepid A level Spanish students flew to Valencia in Spain recently, where they stayed with local families and took classes each day at the Taronja Spanish school - all to improve their understanding of the language... and to have some fun of course.
In the old town 
Completing investigative work at the historic Mercat Central 
Checking out the myriad of colours and flavours at the market 
 A cooking lesson in Spanish with the world renowned 'Chef Nando!'
Taronja Spanish school employ some innovative lesson styles to help students increase their word power. One of the school's founders, Fernando, uses his alter ego 'Chef Nando' to teach not just the language of food and cooking - but also how to actually cook some traditional Valencian dishes such as paella and tortilla. 
Chopping potatoes to make 'tortilla' (Spanish omelette) 
Student Eddie taking this 'chef' business very seriously
 Chef Nando talking pimientos (peppers)
  Making Sangria sin (not con) alcohol 
Chef Nando and a sizzling Paella
On a walking tour of the old town 
Students get to see a lot of Valencia between classroom lessons and learn about the history of the city on many long walks. Most students clocked up 20k+ steps every day!
Student Sonia told us “I really enjoyed spending time in Valencia because it gave me an opportunity to get out of the comfort zone of a classroom and into actual scenarios with real Spanish people. It also made me realise that no matter how bad you are at a language (to a certain extent), as long as you speak with confidence and a decent amount of hand gestures, people will understand you - which is a pretty good feeling. What I liked the most was probably the paella party we had, it was ‘muy rica’ - and also having free time in the evenings."
 Visting Colegio San Pedro Pascual - Valencia
Our students took part in a great 'exchange' lesson with students from Colegio San Pedro Pascual. Here they met Spanish students studying English and took part in a group 'speed date' talking Spanish to their new friends who replied in English. They got on really well and showed that students are kind of the same everywhere.
Student Sean said “It was a bit of a shock to be put into a place filled with native speakers and to suddenly realise how much more you still have to learn. It was still a hugely important trip for me as being able to listen to fluent speech almost constantly has really allowed me to develop my own speaking abilities.”
A language exchange lesson with San Pedro students 
A highlight of the week was learning all about the tradition of the Fallas - a traditional celebration held annually in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia. The five main days celebrated are from the 15 to the 19 March, while the Mascletà, a pyrotechnic spectacle of firecracker detonation and fireworks display, takes place every day from 1 to 19 March. The term Fallas refers to both the celebration and the Falla monuments burnt during the celebration.
In the main square for the truly deafening Mascletà
Among the crowd of thousands...  
 A trip to Valencia wouldn't be complete without at least an afternoon at the beach...
 Time to dip our toes in the Mediterranean
Visiting the Fallas museum to learn the history of the festival 
 Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences) is a cultural and architectural complex and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. This futuristic cityscape has to be seen to be believed and has been used in many Sci Fi movies.
A visit to the Oceanographic to see the dolphins 
Returning home, all good things must come to an end... Muchas gracias Valencia!

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