[lg policy] St. Louis: Language Immersion: Camps for summer
hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 23 16:51:02 UTC 2012
Language Immersion: Camps for summer
By Jenny Wolkowitz CORRESPONDENT
March 22, 2012 4:15 pm | (0)
Students benefit from learning a second language. Let me count a few of the
ways. It gives them more flexible thinking and a better ear for listening.
Doors to other cultures open so a child understands and appreciates
differences. Children score higher on tests. It increases opportunity in
Much research points to benefits of starting this learning process at an
early age. However, most schools unfortunately do not offer language study
until middle-school years. At any age, however, summer options in St. Louis
and in places far, far away allow children to acquire those skills.
If you want second language as a gift for your child, these are some
*Local St. Louis Day Camps*
Ages: preschool to middle school
*St. Louis Language Immersion Schools*
Languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese
Information: 314-533-0975, www.sllis.org
Details: 1- and 2-week sessions
*“Colonie de Vacances” French Immersion Camp*
Information: 314-432-0734, www.alliancestl.org
*Overnight Language Camps in the U.S.*
*Concordia Language Programs*
Location: Bemidji, Minn.
Information: (800) 222-4750, www.concordialanguagevillages.org
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese,
Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Details: ages 7 to 18, 1- to 4-week sessions; no previous knowledge of
language required; live in villages resembling native country; language
acquired through sports and games, arts and outdoor experiences
*Rassias – Kimball Union Academy*
Location: Meriden, N.H.
Information: (603) 469-2000, www.kua.org/summerprograms
Languages: Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese
Details: ages 11 to 17, language learning classes, outdoor adventure,
interaction with foreign ESL students
*Teen Language Programs Abroad (8th grade and up)*
Immersion programs with firsthand knowledge of second language and culture
promote immense growth. Programs usually begin with orientation, followed
by home stay and group touring. In the home stay, students pick up the
rhythm of daily life and practice the language — but this does not suit
A cross-cultural experience involves commitment by both child and parent.
Most exchange organizations require applicants to write essays, get teacher
recommendations and a representative interviews the child.
Students do not need to be academic superstars. A grade point of 2.5 to 3.0
usually suffices. However, they do need to demonstrate intellectual
curiosity and be open to learning about the world. Successful
cross-cultural sojourners tend to share a strong sense of self, empathy and
respect for others, adapt to challenges and difficulties, yet speak for
Contrary to popular belief, mastery of a language is not usually necessary
before applying. Often only one or two years of study is required and
orientation usually includes intense language training. Youths quickly
become fluent by hearing and using the language daily.
Parents will want to know about supervision. Is an administrator/counselor
available to the student with a problem? How many students live in a host
family? Are host families paid or volunteer? What is the free time
schedule? Is it spent with the host family or the group (American or
international)? Is there a curfew? What is the program’s policy on use of
alcohol and drugs?
Before applying, always ask the child’s school whether credit is given for
language study and what homework, tests and reports are required.
Every parent will want to know the group’s make-up: age, grade,
geographical distribution. Activity or travel for the group and its
transportation should be defined. Is a leader along who speaks the local
language? Group meals and their cost should be outlined.
*Language Programs Abroad Without Home Stay*
These are samples:
• International camp in Europe or Canada with kids (ages 8 to 19).
• A high school or college-based program in Europe with no home stay (with
greatest supervision, appropriate for students finishing 7th to 12th grade).
• Community service program in a developing country or Europe. Language is
taught with no – or a shorter – home stay, as well as cultural,
recreational and service activities (students finishing 8th to 12th grade).
*For information about language programs and other summer opportunities,
contact St. Louis consultant Jenny Wolkowitz at 314-432-8642, e-mail
jenny at TipsonTripsandCamps.com or consult
Jenny is the mother of three daughters, one of whom is studying abroad
during this high school semester. In her earlier years, the author was a
day camper, overnight camper, counselor, teen tour participant and teen
tour leader. She studied abroad in college and has traveled extensively
throughout the world.*
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