Our chaperones from the US who fly with you to Europe will usually be high school language teachers and therefore completely fluent in the target language. They will also be equipped with the necessary skills to encourage you to speak French or Spanish wherever possible. However, their main role is a pastoral one; they are there to look after your wellbeing, and to try to solve any issues you might have, ranging from homesickness to ensuring you are integrating well within the group, and any medical issues that may arise. For this reason it is important that your chaperone is a native English speaker. Wherever possible they will communicate with you in the target language, but your main source of language learning will come from the Local Leaders, classes and your immersion stay.
Our Local Leaders are always native speakers and are told that they should not speak English with you. We can of course only provide you with the opportunity to speak in the target language—it is up to you to make the most of that opportunity to speak French or Spanish with all your leaders as much as possible, including your US chaperones.
Posted in: Chaperone Team