UBC Okanagan offers French and Spanish immersion in lakeside setting

An Okanagan lakeside resort in Kelowna is the location for the next Immersion Weekend for French and Spanish, offered through UBC Okanagan’s Community and Continuing Studies. Intended for people interested in practicing French or Spanish in an immersion setting, the program will be held on the weekend of November 2 and 3, 2007.

"What makes this program unique is that students learn in a beautiful setting," says Tia- Maria Hoeller. "They can take in the views of Okanagan Lake from Manteo Resort where the classes take place, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Sunset Bistro, where the Saturday evening dinner and cultural entertainment will be held."

The emphasis of this program is on a true immersion experience where conversational language skills are honed. "It can be challenging," Hoeller notes, "but at the same time it is high-energy and a lot of fun. Students will be expected to speak the chosen language of French or Spanish during the breaks as well as during the cultural lunches which will be held at authentic French and Spanish venues."

Students will study with native-speaking instructors who understand the challenges of learning in an intensive setting, she adds. A total of 10 hours of class instruction plus six hours of socio-cultural activities will have students communicating quickly and effectively.

"This is a great professional development opportunity for teachers, whether they teach French Immersion or not, to refine their speaking skills and it is also a great program for those that wish to travel in the upcoming winter months," says Hoeller.

While similar Immersion Weekends have been hosted in the Okanagan before, taught by instructors from UBC's Vancouver campus, this November's program will be the first taught exclusively by UBC Okanagan instructors.

The registration fee of $350 covers tuition and meals, including refreshments. A Spring Immersion Weekend will be held April 19 and 20, 2008. Details about the November and April weekends are available on the Web at:

For more information about the Immersion Weekend, contact Community and Continuing Studies at UBC Okanagan by e-mail at ccs.ubco@ubc.ca or by phone at 250-807-8177.

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