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Old 07.03.2012, 15:51
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Kids Language Summer Camps

hi to all parents who are busy with summer planning for their kids...

I'm sure I'm not the first one to have this problem. I'm looking for an English Language Summer Camp possibly combined with some multiactivity for my 14-year-old daughter. she will be startin the IB class next year and while her passive comprehension is high, she needs the speaking practice.

I have searched through all the threads in forum and have found interesting information regarding camps in CH. I rule out Village Camps because they are simply too expensive - it doesn't have to be too exclusive as she's not looking for a rich husband yet

I have found more affordable initiatives like Berlitz and Camp Suisse, so my question would be if any of you have had experiences with these providers?

thanks very much!
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:23
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

There are language schools that offer camps such as ESL, http://www.esl.ch There is Les Elfes, offering all types of camps, but it is very costly.

If she is mature enough, I would recommend sending to english speaking country for summer camp, perhaps England, Ireland, Canada. Obviously much cheaper, even with airfare, and total immersion in the language.
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:29
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

Not a parent and not a camp in CH (I know, I know) but an alternative thought: when I was 14, my parents shipped me off for 4 weeks to Dublin, Ireland, to stay with a host family and learn English. Classes everyday MON-SAT for 4 hours, either morning or afternoon, and sightseeing/sports activities/other for the remainder of the day, and field trips on Sunday. You get to meet kids your age from all over Europe, you see a new country, you are forced to speak basically 24/7. The next 2 years they shipped me off to London in the summer, same thing. Perhaps give it a thought?

P.S. The year after "London part 2" they (reluctantly, but I won this one) shipped me off to the USA for a whole year of academic exchange, also an excellent experience that I recommend if you can.
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:37
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

thank you, I will have a look at their website, too.
do you have any personal recommendation based on experience, though? I find them always very useful. I have already been able to rule out a couple of providers on that basis which seemed fantastic from their website presentation... I am so relieved that I took the time double check.

for the camps abroad, there are SO many providers, it is a true jungle. most don't seem very convincing, rather money-making... any specific name you have heard positive experiences about?


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There are language schools that offer camps such as ESL, http://www.esl.ch There is Les Elfes, offering all types of camps, but it is very costly.

If she is mature enough, I would recommend sending to english speaking country for summer camp, perhaps England, Ireland, Canada. Obviously much cheaper, even with airfare, and total immersion in the language.
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:56
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

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Not a parent and not a camp in CH (I know, I know) but an alternative thought: when I was 14, my parents shipped me off for 4 weeks to Dublin, Ireland, to stay with a host family and learn English. Classes everyday MON-SAT for 4 hours, either morning or afternoon, and sightseeing/sports activities/other for the remainder of the day, and field trips on Sunday. You get to meet kids your age from all over Europe, you see a new country, you are forced to speak basically 24/7. The next 2 years they shipped me off to London in the summer, same thing. Perhaps give it a thought?

P.S. The year after "London part 2" they (reluctantly, but I won this one) shipped me off to the USA for a whole year of academic exchange, also an excellent experience that I recommend if you can.
thanks BokerTov, this is certainly one of the best ways to learn as I know from personal experience: my parents did the same with me! sending me off to families in england, and I, too, was an exchange student. I must say, though, that it wasn't such a good thing for me, as families always have their own dynamics and for me it was very stressful because I had more than enough of mine, as most teenagers

I would prefer a more neutral "college/campus" solution for my kids, because those are the stays I enjoyed most in my youth (although I certainly learnt more in the families I stayed with)
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Old 07.03.2012, 17:27
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

I have similar experience to you and totally agree with you!

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thanks BokerTov, this is certainly one of the best ways to learn as I know from personal experience: my parents did the same with me! sending me off to families in england, and I, too, was an exchange student. I must say, though, that it wasn't such a good thing for me, as families always have their own dynamics and for me it was very stressful because I had more than enough of mine, as most teenagers

I would prefer a more neutral "college/campus" solution for my kids, because those are the stays I enjoyed most in my youth (although I certainly learnt more in the families I stayed with)
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Old 07.03.2012, 20:18
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

thanks for sharing Tilia, I thought I was being difficult, so I never really told anyone, least of all my own parents who thought they were doing only the best for me...

those were the crazy and irresponsible times in which nobody ever considered the dangers of sending kids to basically unfamiliar and sometimes unknown people...
if I think of it today, a SHUDDER goes down my spine... I would never, ever send my kids to a family who are not good friends just "to earn the language". even they are good people, how do you know for instance that they have the same attitude to general safety issues that you have?!

luckily my bad experiences where limited to witnessing unpleasant scenes or general tension to which I was probably much more sensitive than my own kids would be, since they have a much more seren relationship with us than I had with my parents.

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I have similar experience to you and totally agree with you!
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Old 07.03.2012, 20:42
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Re: Kids Language Summer Camps

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thanks BokerTov, this is certainly one of the best ways to learn as I know from personal experience: my parents did the same with me! sending me off to families in england, and I, too, was an exchange student. I must say, though, that it wasn't such a good thing for me, as families always have their own dynamics and for me it was very stressful because I had more than enough of mine, as most teenagers

I would prefer a more neutral "college/campus" solution for my kids, because those are the stays I enjoyed most in my youth (although I certainly learnt more in the families I stayed with)
I spent 3 summers in families and language schools when I was a teenager. I was twice in Hastings and once in Nice. I understand your feeling about the unknown safety standard of host families and the fun to be expected in student campus situation, but I'd personally prefer the family situation with my kids anyway. I think that they would be more exposed to the language in a family than in a campus with students from all over the world (in theory, in practice there will be way too many students from German speaking countries).

In either case, the success of the camp is entirely dependent on the behavior of your daughter. The more she hangs out with Swiss and German kids, the less English she'll learn.

I went with Steinfels Sprachreisen (more than 15 years ago). I don't know whether they still excist, but at the time they had a better reputation than EF.
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