Village Camps has developed an innovative and ingeniously crafted language-learning programme designed to fully engage the campers.
An exciting range of projects, tasks, quizzes, competitions and games will inspire the interest and ensure the involvement of every camper. They enjoy having fun together in small groups and will soon be using the words and phrases that they have been learning each day – both in Camp and in the village which is close to the accommodation.
A New and Completely Different Way to Teach Languages
We deliver the French language programme in a way that is entertaining, interactive, engaging and challenging. We cleverly combine laughter and learning!
The campers learn from new material that takes them outside their usual comfort zone but stimulates their interest providing them with new skills and knowledge that they can use during and after camp. Campers really enjoy learning to speak the target language together.
Groups of students help choose their preferred lively projects.
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.
Choosing the Projects and Topics
Campers choose projects in discussion groups which make language-learning more interesting and personal
Other times the Language Coordinator and team prepare projects from an innovative selection that the campers enjoy
Campers often choose something that simply interests them, a topic of the day or some element of the culture of their country.
Some Typical Topics
The following topics are some of those recently used on our language learning programmes in Leysin or at York, England. Each summer new topics are usually added. Each project offers different levels of difficulty and appropriate vocabulary so that we cater for the range of ability levels.
‘Personality poster’ - on the first morning the 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’ 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 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.
Learning vocabulary in an ‘inter-group’ way – using new words talking as a group about past and future projects and later working on projects initially in groups and then on their own as they gain confidence.
At the end of all projects the groups present their results often using one of their ‘products’ (e.g. the film, travel brochure or a song).
Language Lessons - Information
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: beginner/elementary - pre-intermediate - intermediate - upper intermediate/advanced
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.
Accommodation, excursions & activities
Campers stay at the Village Camps' Swiss Alpine Centre. The centre has spacious, mainly en-suite bedrooms for 3-4 campers, lounges and play areas as well as 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. In the afternoons and evenings, campers enjoy an exciting range of activities. Highlights are archery, tennis, hikes, mountain-climbing and beach volleyball in the afternoons and fun team competitions, International Cuisine Night, Talent Show and the Final Night Farewell Disco in the evenings.
Further details on the excursions and on the activities available at the Leysin camp can be found in the "Country Switzerland Overview Pages".