A Respite in the Pyrenees
Part of any immersion experience when learning a second language is to visit other regions where the language is spoken. I had the chance to do this last weekend as the students in our program took a trip to Roussillon, southwestern France, in the Pyrenees Mountains. This part of France at one time belonged to Spain in the 1400’s during the Aragon-Comte and therefore has a lot of Spanish influence. In fact Catalan (combination of French and Spanish) is still spoken here and many signs around the cities are in both languages. This area reminds me of the border region of El Paso; even though there are two distinct bordering countries, the cultures have still each retained their autonomy and primary language.
Roussillon is right along the coast of the Mediterranean and has many old fortresses and vineyards dating back to the 5th century. The…
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