Experiences are for families, too


Man and woman cooking together during a virtual language training experience

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Last night my kitchen was filled with laughter and the most delightful aroma.   It doesn’t get any better than that, but it does because the laughter came from my kids, who were home from college.  I listened with glee and realized I could only understand some of their conversations.  They were speaking to each other in French!  Well, my youngest was, and my older son was trying to keep up, not to be outdone by his younger brother.
My husband and youngest son participated in a French Cooking Experience a few days earlier.  They made Le Boeuf Bourguignon and had a marvelous time doing this together.  My son enjoyed the challenge of using his French language skills as he picked up some new culinary vocabulary.  My husband felt proud that he had learned a few phrases and prepared a delicious French meal.  The food, the language, and the connection were all so great that the fun continued for a few more days in our home. This happens when my family participates in an immersive Experience; we often try to recreate the activity and like to show off the language skills we gained with each other.

Two teenage boys participating in a virtual language training experience

Over the years, we have had the privilege of helping hundreds of families learn a new language.  I love it when children and their parents share in this adventure…their friendly competitions, silly dinnertime conversations, challenges, and even the eye rolls from a teenager lovingly mocking their parent as they attempt to speak.  I know these families make memories and strengthen bonds as their skills grow. 
Our Experiences are perfect for families exploring the culture and “playing” in their new language.  I have watched children and parents create Japanese Origami, try Chinese Paper Cutting, sing, dance, and cook together.  The children often take center stage.  I think about the little girl who proudly told the Japanese teacher she would help her parents with anything they didn’t understand or the brother and sister who impressively argued about who made the better French crepes in their new language.  
Tonight we hosted an April Fool’s Day English Experience. Twelve families learned some jokes and pranks and made a surprise dessert.  They laughed together and had some fun in their new language.  They will undoubtedly entertain each other with “knock-knock” jokes in the days ahead.  What a GREAT way to practice English as a family! 
We invite your family to bake, create, sing, dance, and learn with us!  Laughter and good-natured teasing are encouraged.

Karen McDougall, VP of Experiences & Culture, wrote this blog. Read her bio.

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