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: www.smallworld.ch".
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.