La Yurta de Bendicion (The Blessing Yurt)

The global pandemic may be preventing our students from international trips this year, though this didn’t stop IGCSE 2 Spanish from an excursion! 

I’ve spent a year thinking about how to create a Spanish language field trip in Kyrgyzstan – a country with very few Spanish speakers. This week, the perfect opportunity arose. Though our IGCSE Spanish class did not take a field trip to practice their language skills with Spanish speakers, our students were able to get out of the classroom and into a real-life context. Unlike the classroom, where use of the language is in a fabricated setting, our students were given the task of
conversing for a full 90 minutes in Spanish which required a lot more creativity and spontaneity with the vocabulary and grammar. Students started their mini trip with a taxi ride through the city where they described the sites we could see and discussed what made Bishkek culture unique. We also used the journey as an opportunity to practice giving directions!
On arrival to the Museum of Fine Arts, our small group (made up of Alina Ozyardymdzhy and Karina Kolesnichenko) experienced The Blessing Yurt exhibition by artist and fashion designer, Altynai Osmoeva. As they
did so, Alina and Karina created a Vlog in Spanish to document their experience. This included a Spanish commentary on the variety of felt couture, discussions regarding the symbolism of light and shoes, and the
powerful impact and influence of women in the world. Not only describing to their audience all that the exhibition contained, Alina and Karina also translated Kyrgyz proverbs into Spanish, and shared their own opinions on the different pieces of artwork displayed. 

Our group also had the opportunity of visiting a ‘mercado de artesanias’ (crafts bazaar) at the museum. As it was a Wednesday morning and fairly empty, we were able to use the setting to bring to life role play scenarios such as buying gifts, bargaining and haggling, and the general conversations that come with window shopping! In visiting ‘the real world’, the Spanish conversations and discussions that Alina and Karina were having felt much more real too. 

Whilst it may not have been a trip to Madrid or Barcelona, it was wonderful for IGCSE 2 Spanish to use their language skills outside of the classroom setting whilst having the opportunity to experience a reflective and inspiring insight into what makes Kyrgyzstan special.

Krisha Ghandi, Director of Studies