Spanish students on the Blue Coat’s Exchange programme this year got a value-added Northern experience learning Scouse slang words and being exposed to fish and chips and Yorkshire pudding. They also grappled with early British bedtimes.
This year 18 Spanish students from Colegio Ingles San Patricio (St Patrick’s English School), in San Sebastian, Basque Country, led by their teachers Tim Buckwell and Eli Echeverria, spent a week in Liverpool and Merseyside with their year 12 Blue Coat Language student hosts.
The exchange programme began in 2005 when Colegio Ingles San Patricio contacted Blue Coat School suggesting the idea. Being located in Basque Country, the school has a tri-lingual curriculum with pupils aged from three to 18 years.
Mr O’Brien and Miss Sanchez, of Blue Coat Languages Department, visited Colegio Ingles San Patricio to set up the programme. Our students will visit their exchange partners in Spain for a week in March 2019.
Mr O’Brien said: “All the students get so much out of the exchange and their Spanish comes on so much in just a week. The linguistic ability of the Spanish students is also very good and speaking English is very important to them.
“Most of the exchange partners get on well, but our thanks also go to parents who have a big role in making the Spanish students feel at home.”
Blue Coat exchange hosts Beau and Mia, said the experience was really good, in spite of feeling apprehensive about getting on with their exchange partners. The students were in contact by social media before meeting and activities have included ice skating, Mersey Ferries cruise and the Beatles Museum.
Beau said: “I was scared it’d be awkward, but it’s been really good. They all speak really good English. To experience local culture we took them to the chippy, which they said they liked.”
Mia said: “We had a good time and they really like Liverpool. But they can’t believe we have dinner so early in the evening and they’re still walking around at 2am. We introduced them to Yorkshire pudding which they loved!”
One aspect in which Liverpool students outperform their Spanish opposites is slang. Beau and Mia agreed: “It seems they don’t have much slang in Spanish, but we’ve taught them words like gaff, scran and beef!”