This English language programme takes place in the Swiss Alps, where English can be heard everywhere, as there are many foreigners and bilingual locals. A large majority of our counsellors and campers are also bilingual and will happily help and support English language campers.
Learning from native English speaking teachers in class and practicing the rest of the time with other campers, staff and locals, helps our campers to rapidly develop their vocabulary and understanding as well as their confidence and ability to engage in conversation in a language other than their mother tongue.
Village Camps has over the years ingeniously crafted language-learning programmes designed to fully engage the campers. An exciting range of projects, tasks, quizzes, competitions and games inspires the interest and ensure the involvement of every camper.
Emphasis is on gaining confidence and improving vocabulary so that they acquire fluency, engage in conversation and develop the skills and confidence to make a presentation to an audience.
Campers learn from new material that takes them outside their usual comfort zone but stimulates their interest, providing them with new skills. Campers enjoy learning to speak the together in class and in camp with other French native speaking campers. On the first morning of camp students are carefully assessed and placed into groups of about 7-10 campers according to ability and age.
There are 4 ability levels:
We operate a ‘continuous assessment’ system – so students may be upgraded at any time as they progress.
Lessons are Monday to Friday for 3 hours from 09.00 to 12.00 with a short mid-morning break of about 10 minutes. At the end of camp, certificates are awarded to each student and a full progress report sent independently to each family.
Projects and Topics
Campers choose projects in discussion groups which make language-learning more interesting and personal. Often they choose something that simply interests them, a topic of the day or some element of the culture of their country. Each project offers different levels of difficulty and appropriate vocabulary so that we cater for the range of ability levels.
Typical Project Topics
‘Personality poster’ - Campers make up a ‘personality poster’ about themselves and use adjectives that they think describe their personality. This is a great way to get to know new friends and to take the first steps in language learning.
‘The Great Survival Debate’ - This is an imaginary debate on the equipment necessary for survival in the desert. Everyone has to discuss the issues and learn the vocabulary.
'The Food Tasting Festival' - Encourages campers to learn words to describe food smell, texture and flavours. The reward for learning the vocabulary is to taste some delicious traditional dishes of the country, served by the teachers. Campers love it!
‘The Song Project’ - Campers choose a contemporary well-known song BUT together make up some humorous new words that will change the lyrics.
‘Holiday Brochure’ - The group discusses and selects holiday destinations finally designing a holiday brochure.
‘Film Project’ - Campers decide on an original idea, write the script, design a film poster and then go out and actually shoot a short film.
Making the Projects Work
Every morning lesson starts with a warm-up in the language with teachers and campers talking together – and a song in French playing in the background. The teachers introduce the campers to ‘tongue-twisters’ and word games such as Scrabble. Teachers start conversations in groups about what they liked about the previous day, their favourite music and the activities to which they are looking forward.
Project work facilitates the learning of vocabulary in an ‘inter-group’ way – using new words and talking between each other and gaining confidence and language skills. At the end of all projects the groups present their results often using one of their project “product” (e.g. the film, travel brochure or a song).
Accommodations, Excursions & Activities
Campers stay at the Village Camps owned and managed Swiss Alpine Centre. The centre has spacious, mainly en-suite bedrooms for 3-4 campers as well as lounges and recreational areas and impressive dining facilities. The campus is well situated just above the main village and close to its excellent sport and leisure facilities.
There are exciting excursions to Geneva, the lakeside town of Lausanne, a chocolate factory and the Water-Park in nearby Aigle.
There is a variety of afternoon and evening activities both in Camp and outdoors, which campers from all programmes participate together. These all camp activities are organised and supervised by Village Camp counsellors.
Further details on the excursions and on the activities available at the Leysin camp can be found on the Switzerland Overview Page.
*Not available during 1st session, and not available at all for campers booking the Adventure Camp or LTC
Choose from the available specialty programme and combine it with professional tennis instruction from VC’s top coach, Christine Suard! This additional option allows those that are passionate for tennis to combine their language, art, or multi-sports morning programme with qualified afternoon tennis instruction.
Our highly qualified head-coach has developed a fantastic and innovative tennis programme which has three different categories from beginners to highly trained club players. We wanted to give the opportunity to all campers regardless of programme (Adventure excluded) to opt for an additional 3 hours of tennis instruction in the afternoons!
In the evenings, campers join their peers who have been on afternoon activities for engaging evening programmes which will, at times incorporate the whole camp and other times be age group dependent.