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Learn French at a holiday camp

French as a Foreign Language | French holidays | learning French

Could the summer holidays be the best time to learn French? 

There’s nothing quite like a holiday camp in Paris or elsewhere in France to explore the country, have fun with people of the same age and perfect your French accent! 

Here’s why you should introduce your children to summer camps.

That’s why we run Junior Summer camps in the best French destinations during half term, for 12-17 year olds.

6 reasons to learn French in a holiday camp

Dear parents and French teachers,

Forget about summer camps being old school and traumatic! 

Holiday camps overseas provide experiences and memories that your children will remember fondly all their lives.

1. Holidays to forget it all, except your French

Holiday camps have been around as long as schools and need no introduction. They’re still very popular and packed full of adventure, good times and new friends. It’s a sure way to keep them busy during half term! The long summer holidays are ideal for learning a language as you don’t have any duties or routine on your mind, you’re just open to new things. 

You learn better when you don’t feel forced into it. The French teachers make their lessons fun, interactive and lively so they’re nothing like the academic and focused classes you get at school. Summer language camps are meant for having fun and forgetting about school!

2. Explore the best French destinations

A holiday camp in France is the perfect blend of culture, sunshine, scenery, activities… and French lessons in the morning! When they feel relaxed, young people make significant progress in their French skills whilst exploring France at its best. 

Paris? Nice? La Rochelle? Brittany or Normandy? Vacances Actives Linguistiques’ summer camp destinations are chosen so visitors can soak up the sun-drenched scenery, go swimming and do water sports during their free time.

Our top Junior Summer Camp destinations: 

  1. Nice, Côte d’Azur and Provence: for sunshine in spades 
  2. Brittany and Normandy: for the best of nature, history and French culture
  3. In and around Paris (Versailles etc.): the capital is even more impressive in summer!

3. A deep dive into French culture

Stay with a host family and wake up to a French breakfast… or stay on campus and get together with French students to have fun and play sports in the afternoon.

That’s the definition of cultural immersion: living with locals, speaking and listening to French every day for 1, 2 or 3 weeks… 

Young people naturally improve their French comprehension and grasp of the country’s cultural values.

4. Make friends from all over the world

The idea behind a summer camp abroad is to bring youngsters from all over the world together and introduce them to other cultures. Interact, communicate and form bonds with group games and activities: that’s what we do! We do our utmost so children feel comfortable in the group and make the most of their trip with their fellow visitors: role play, team games, French drama lessons etc. 

Children often make timeless memories at summer camp. Move them into a foreign environment and they meet people they wouldn’t otherwise and form unique bonds with other visitors. They all have the same challenges communicating and learning French so it’s a level playing field: that brings them together and creates bonds. Summer camps produce unique friendships, some of which last a lifetime.

5. An empowering adventure

When you send your child abroad for a language holiday, you set them a challenge! And you set one for yourself since seeing your child head off to another country is always stressful and scary!

Don’t worry, when they come home they’ll have grown from being outside their comfort zone. Meeting people from other nationalities and cultures and handling a totally different routine is a real challenge. Travel nurtures young people because it helps them open their minds and learn to accept other cultures

Staying in a host family or campus away from their parents gives them greater independence and responsibility. Let’s just hope they keep up their new habits once they get home!

Still not sure? Let’s look at what’s worrying you about summer camps abroad:

My child may get lonely

Do you think summer camps are a jungle and your child may feel left out among the bigger characters? 

You’d be wrong.

All the children at summer camps stay in the same place and have to overcome the same obstacles. They have to communicate with a host family, take part in lessons and group work, understand other people’s cultures: each and every one of them have tricky situations to deal with. 

Homesickness? 

Bedtime blues. 

Yes, children can get homesick, especially after a long and tiring day. But they always have the staff, host families and a student of the same age or nationality to lean on for support. 

Plus the language, social or cultural activities are designed so everyone finds their place and feels comfortable. Everyone gets their own bearings and they can always talk to the adult staff. Your children will soon settle in and won’t have time to miss home!

What if my child isn’t good enough? 

Are you worried that your child will be left out because their French isn’t good enough to get the most out of their holiday and activities?

That’s exactly why summer camps are set up by age and ability i.e. our partners have tests for the students to take to identify their level and put them in the right class. That way they’re on the right track to turn a corner by the end of their time and make significant progress in both comprehension and communication.

In our agency Vacances Actives Linguistiques, we love this period when travel is in full swing and youth mobility is facilitated. Receiving new learners of French as a Foreign Language is a chance! We prefer Summer, because we take advantage of accommodation facilities, available host families and increasingly varied activities. We reserve the best conditions of stay and learning for young travelers who come to discover France for the first time!

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