Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Learn English Abroad" ads hit my communication sweet spot

I really like these Swiss learning travel ads in today's Ads of The World:

The copy reads, "Exciting conversations don't come out of your schoolbook.
Language courses abroad:".

This struck me as such a perfectly true insight. So true, in fact, that there's no way it can't have been done many times before.

It also hits home. As an English Canadian of a certain age, I studied French as a mandatory school course from Grade 3 to Grade 10. Today, I cannot speak French to save my cul.

A few years later, I learned to speak Italian. Not grammatically perfect Italian, but enough to keep my culo out of trouble as I mingled with new friends in bars, clubs and parties — exactly the scenarios shown above.

And this is why I love the ads. Real language immersion is a full-contact cultural experience. You learn what you need to learn naturally, simply because you really want to communicate. And the payoffs, in lifelong beyond-tourism experiences, are immediate and more than worth the effort.


  1. Rachel in Spain :-)December 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I'll second that (embarrassing moments due to a shaky language learner's grasp on importantly placed vowels notwithstanding).

  2. cool ads indeed. Yes, language must come naturally for speakers nor forcefully.