What to Expect on a Language Holiday

There are no typical days on an English language holiday in Scotland with us, as we build a holiday around YOU.

Our language school uses practical, everyday interactions and outdoor excursions to enhance language learning. They are all different!

However, this blog paints a picture of our immersive approach to teaching English through real-life activities and cultural experiences.

M-L’s holiday was targeting workplace English, but we relaxed with plants.

Being near living plants can aid everyone’s English learning experience.

We’ll look at a M-L’s language immersion holiday in detail, to give you an idea of what to expect.

How would YOU like to practice English in Scotland?

Visible Progress

Today I showed my student a basil plant.

I got it the day she arrived (a coincidence, I get my organic veggie box every Friday – and this one included this live basil plant).

As it’s M-L’s last day learning with me here in Scotland, we first reviewed all the grammar she has learned (and yes, she can use the Present Perfect now).

Then we spent a couple of hours chatting about how she can get English practice regularly into her life back home. We used lots of ‘going to’ for intentions – (previously, she only used ‘will’).

Oh, and I’ll send her all those web links I showed her once she gets home (along with my best accountability tips for keeping on track).

tea break at Blue Noun language hub

Tea break Blue Noun Language Hub

Tea Break Chats

I showed her the basil plant during one of our frequent tea breaks. I was boiling the kettle when I noticed that in her two weeks, it had much more than doubled in size.

Although still a young plant, it’s obviously strong and healthy. It even has leaves I can use right away, and more will grow in their place.

In other words, it’s thriving!

“Just like your English!” I said.

Plants in the Classroom

This is possibly a corny thing to say, but it is true. Two weeks ago it was so much smaller and fragile. Now it is strong and ready to be used!

(Artist Adam J. Kurtz has a lot to say in favour of risking being corny by being sincere in his You Are Here – For Now podcast).


Live Language Learning with Plants and Gardens

It’s actually not odd to be talking about plants with her.

Firstly, we’ve talked about almost everything over the last couple of weeks. As she’s been welcomed into my world in Scotland, she has also encountered my family life. We’ve covered a lot!


live language learning - Blue Noun Language School plants

This amazing plant was given to me by a student (Tania).

Love Your Classroom

Secondly, I have living plants all around Blue Noun Language Hub. I sometimes even post on Insta about our little garden space. Our plants are part of being here. They bring joy.

Living plants bring calm and relaxation to a space – much needed in any learning space.

Although M-L and I have focused quite a lot on the technical language she needs for her work, she told me via our WhatsApp chat that she had an interest in herbalism and plants, so I had some plant-themed adventures lined up for her time in Scotland.

live language learning - herb garden at stirling castle

‘Medieval’ herb garden at Stirling Castle (detail)

English Excursions in Outdoor Scotland

For example, we’ve visited a private growing garden producing market flowers for florists (heavenly), as well as Drummond Castle Gardens – and Stirling Castle’s medicinal herb garden (as well as exploring Stirling Castle itself).

We’ve also taken a couple of private nature walks with local herbalist Claire Mullan, who shared history, folklore and herbal tips about local plants (including how the lowly nettle is useful in each season – and one reason why yew trees might have been planted in cemeteries).

At one point we three even sat in the sun sketching flowers.


live language learning screenshot - sketching at drummond castle gardens

Screenshot from Instagram

What!! Not Talking? 

Nope, sitting and drawing.

English immersion holidays should not constantly be talking and ‘cramming’. They are as much about learning who you are – and can be – in a new culture, as learning tangible language skills.

Companionable silence speaks volumes.

This was three people sharing a memorable moment, transcending the need for the spoken word.

This is a solid foundation for a lifetime of English language learning.

That’s what language immersion can truly offer best.

Visiting the bluebells at Strowan Cemetery

Strowan Woodland Cemetery, Perthshire 


“For my next learner(s), their English immersion week will have a different language emphasis and/or activities based on their jobs, language weaknesses and language goals – as well as their hobbies, travel interests and personalities”.

Ruth, 2023

Bespoke English Language Holidays

For M-L, the afternoons spent walking together in woodlands and gardens were the perfect complement to her English learning – providing the peaceful environment she needed to supplement the intense language learning.

For my next learner(s), their English immersion week will have a different language emphasis and/or activities based on their jobs, language weaknesses and language goals – as well as their hobbies, travel interests and personalities.

Every immersion holiday is shaped around just what each learner needs to grow.

(We talk before you book –  just to make sure that we are a good fit for working together!)