By Professor Hernán Guastalegnnane
Buenos Aires has many parks and plazas, they are the lungs of the city. Visitors don’t fail to be impressed at how green the city is. That’s why our students enjoy outdoors activities so much. They love to see how the porteños enjoy the sun, the blue skies and the fresh air in the city, and, off course, enjoy it themselves with an ice-cream or a delicious café con tortas to help recover energies to go on walking.
Games help you relax and “forget” you are working hard on Spanish grammar and vocabulary. They also help you to develop interpersonal, organizational and observational skills. To win a game you must work as a team, side by side to solve problems, resolve conflicts or find out the best, and often quickest, solution to a puzzle. You must think quick, out of the box and everybody must find their role in the team to make it work.
Combine these two aspects and you have a treasure hunt that help students enjoy the outdoor life of Buenos Aires and the importance of team work while learning Spanish at the same time! This is exactly what took place this week at the Global Institute CIEE Center in Buenos Aires.
Spanish Beginners class students went out on a “Treasure Hunt in the Bosques de Palermo” with their instructor to find out information about the park itself and its tourist and cultural attractions, while learning new words and expressions by interacting with passers-by. They had to find factual and subjective information, come up with a list of things of different colors, find something that was relevant to the whole group, words that are used in English and much more. Each team was racing to finish the game first, but accuracy counted as much as speed.
During the “hunt” we saw the Eco Parque and the Monumento de los Españoles, we visited the Rosedal, a rose garden with 22,000 roses of all colors and fragrances, the Andalusian patio, the writers´ corner, the lake and the Sívori Museum, where we could appreciate some very impressive exhibitions of local modern art. We ate at the museum café, where we tasted their famous plum cake, and rounded up the hunt at the Planetarium Galileo Galilei.
The activity finished, after 3 hours of hunting, in an ice-cream shop where we recovered some of the energies spent hunting around for fun and learning! It’s difficult to think of a better environment to learn, grow and discover!