05.26.17 | Bilingualism

French Growth in the summer? Here’s How

Making the decision to send your child to French camp is a big one. Your child is in French immersion school all year, do they really need to spend precious summer weeks in French?

 

The real question is WHY NOT!

 

What if you could find a French camp that was fun and educational, one that your child was excited to attend and go back to each year? One that contributes to their personal growth, character development, AND helps them learn French vocabulary?

 

That is the mission of Camp Tournesol and those are the types of French camps we have been delivering to tens of thousands of campers over the last several years.

 

But how is language learning at summer camp so effective? Here are just a few factors that contribute to the language learning success at our camp:

 

 

Here is a brief description of how French is learned in a few of our modules. We hope that this helps you understand how impactful attending a French camp in the summer can be for your child!

 

Arts and Crafts Module

During this period, campers listen actively in French, and follow the directions in French to complete the craft. It also develops their vocabulary specific to arts and crafts materials, new verbs (e.g. folding, tracing) used in the craft, and instructions (e.g. First do this, then do this).

 

Sports

French development is promoted as active listening skills are needed to understand the game. Campers develop their vocabulary specific to the human body (for example, no tagging people above the shoulders or below the hips), sports, and sport equipment.

 

Board Games

It is unique in that the board games played really come second to the conversations the campers amongst themselves. The conversations are spontaneous and authentic, as per the Ontario French curriculum: campers are using their French speaking and listening skills to develop friendships with fellow campers

 

Coopération

Games are developed specifically to encourage children to talk to one another in French, discuss strategies, and plan together to solve problems. Campers need to communicate to be successful, and often forget that they’re speaking in French!

 

Creativity

Creating something new with their French, bringing everything they know about the language together in the form of a performance is very empowering. It draws on Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking, which explains that language skills are better solidified when used to create something new.

 

Language Module for the kinder programs

Repetition of vocabulary is the cornerstone for developing a strong language base, as researched by Stuart Wagg. Campers new to the language will enjoy learning French vocabulary such as new names for things they already know, making vocabulary learning exciting instead of daunting. Campers already exposed to some of this vocabulary will develop an even stronger language base through the incorporation of it into their daily lives.

 

Song Time for the kinder programs

The songs introduced to children offer another platform for reinforcing their new French vocabulary, by repeating the words and phrases in a song with actions.

 

Book Club for the kinder programs

Some books are familiar stories to the campers, therefore they can focus on enjoying the story in French. Some others are a simple story written specifically to develop French vocabulary, reinforcing what they have learned in the language module. The critical introduction of basic sentence structures in storytelling is vital in developing children’s fluency.

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