Holidays are some of the best times as students. No homework, no classes, time to enjoy, relax and play games. However, what about the select few who are willing to combine learning with travel and play, especially for a foreign language? Stellar International decided to create a programme that caters towards language learning, specifically English, punctuated with activities and hands-on lessons that reinforce the use of English. The goal is not to force grammar down their throats but to build up enough confidence that the students are willing to try and learn on their own after getting comfortable with using the language, be it perfect or not. How did we do it?
First and foremost, English is the medium of language for the camp. Though we do enlist the help of a translator as the camp attendees so far have been almost entirely Korean, all instructions and activities are conducted in English only. We also encourage the children to mix around and make friends because we still want them to enjoy and make memories here. But what makes our camp different and exciting are the activities we insert into the programme.
No child wants to remain in a classroom all day. They will lose focus and learning becomes a chore instead. So, we include other components such as arts and crafts, music, soft skills, environmental and cultural awareness, and fitness as components. There are field trips to places around town to expose the children to the local culture. They have visited cultural villages, a bee farm, swimming sessions, park excursions, flower pressing, and more. All these tie into our belief that learning can be done anywhere, anytime, and more than just knowledge from a book.
But maybe above all that we give and get, the most treasured and remembered are the memories we make together. Ask any of the team that coordinated and carried out the camp and they can name multiple children and events that happened, accompanied with laughs and smiles as we recollect them. It’s a small wish of mine to someday see them again and hope that the experience with us has made a lasting impression on their lives. Until then, if that day ever comes, we shall keep striving to create a diverse and holistic environment for children to learn.