Pueblo Ingles

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
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Saturday, May 20, 2006

A while back I heard from a friend about this program in Spain called Pueblo Ingles. Basically, it is designed for Spanish people who are learning English as an immersion retreat to practice hearing and speaking English. So they take about 20 Spaniards and 20 native English speakers or "Anglos" and put them together for a week in a remote location in Spain and let them talk each others ear off! It sounded like fun, so I signed up, and here I am.

We arrived on Friday afternoon afer a 4hr bus ride. Some of the Spaniards were on the bus, but most has driven there cars up themselves, probably in case they needed to escape! The facility is gorgeous, it is a rustic 18th century village that was abandoned but has been restored. The main building has the bar, dining room on 3 levels, and the reception desk. It is surrounded by villas, or "houses" as we are calling them. Each house seems to have from 1-4 people. Ours has a living room and kitchenette on the main floor, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the first floor, and 2 more bedrooms on the second floor. From my bedroom window I have a gorgeous view of the mountains and 2 of the other villas. The closest town is a few kms drive, so it is very peaceful and quiet aside from all the birds!!

The program goes like this: 9-10am breakfast. from 10-2 you have 4-1hr one-to-ones. This is an hour spent with a Spaniard, talking about whatever you like! You can go for a walk, lie in the sun, play a game, as long as you are talking. Then at 2pm is lunch, then free time until 5pm. Some people go for a siesta, but many just end up sitting on the lawn and chatting. 5-6 is a group activity, then 6-8 are 2 more one-on-ones. 8-9 is improv presentations, over the course of the week each group has to present a 20 minute skit. Then 9pm is dinner, if all the anglos havenīt dropped dead of starvation! Most people in Spain seem to eat dinner around 10pm, which is pretty late compared to what we are used to.

There are 19 Spaniards, 9 of whom work for a company called Vodafone. Most live in Madrid, but some are from Barcelona, Pamploma, Bilboa etc. There are 20 Anglos I think, of which 6 are from Calgary! Crazy. There is another Canadian, a few Americans, 2 Australians, a couple Brits and an Irish gal. Quite a mix, I didnīt expect to see so many Canadians, but apparently there was an article in the Herald about it.

The funniest thing is we are totally remote, no shops, no restaurants, and no cell phone coverage!! Considering half the group works for a telecom company it is driving some of them crazy already not being able to call home or work. Apparently if you go up the hill you can get reception, which is straight out of a commercial. Most seem to be coping well, but we will see how the week goes...
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Comments

Speak English on

Hello

Vaughn systems have a wonderful idea and hopefully you will think the same about MovingOn Courses. We also offer full board in exchange for chatting in English to our students. There are several differences:
We have qualified teachers who give our students structured classes in the morning. This means you have more free time if you wish to take it.
Instead of staying in one "English village", we take our students on a trip each afternoon. This means you will get to visit places you otherwise could not visit without hiring a car.
We go to Ireland each summer which is when we have an international mix of students. This means it is easier for our students to only speak English

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