The emphasis of this programme is on fun while learning German as a new language. In the idyllic setting of Austria countryside surrounded by mountains and lakes, campers get the opportunity to practice what they learn in class in real-life situations. German speaking counsellors and campers are a precious help for languages students to develop their skills outside class times in camp, excursions, shops and other activities.
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.
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).
Special excursion for Language Campers
Campers explore the Alpine Natural World in a 360° cinema with German interactive materials.
Accommodation, Excursions & Activities
The 80-capacity Chalet Notburgahof is in a delightful setting in the rural village of Piesendorf, close to the international, lakeside resort of Zell am See. The Chalet has fully-equipped on-site multi-purpose gym for sports and evening activities, as well as language classrooms, internet café, conference room, tennis and badminton courts.
The excursion highlights include a day trip to visit Salzburg, a trek to Sigmund Thun Klam Gorge, a visit to the Welten Museum.
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 Austria Overview Page.