There is nothing better than intensive practice to learn a foreign language.
Immersion has its qualities, but teleportation has yet to be invented.
Time and budget are sometimes too scarce to include a stay abroad in the summer schedule.The winning alternative to learn a language is to register for intensive online language camps at VivaLing!
Why we favour customised individual courses
The debate, never settled, on innate and acquired skills is still raging. Studies pile up and contradict each other on the respective percentages of acquisition, including the now famous 10,000-hour rule stated by Malcolm Gladwell. But all those studies agree that practice makes the difference, however, not just any practice.
Professor K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist at Florida State University, has demonstrated that focused learning allows you to develop your skills in an infallible way. This approach involves individual sessions where the teacher motivates the student, gives immediate feedback, and the student bounces back from mistakes to improve. That is the reason why VivaLing’s holiday camps offer one-to-one sessions and give maximum priority to interactivity with teachers, giving learners the opportunity to actively dive into their practice.
Is immersion always the best way to learn a language?
An intensive online camp is different than an immersion camp, but is immersion always the ideal solution?
Living in the target language environment and having no choice but to communicate in the language to be studied is a conditional accelerator.
For a beginner, a total immersion will titillate curiosity, but not necessarily multiply his language skills as learning skills are overstretched. There is a limit beyond which new information won’t penetrate. Therefore, a tailored intensive online course offers a more targeted and effective learning curve.
Immersion also has an important psychological aspect. A shy or reserved personality may experience it as an unpleasant baptism of fire and develop an aversion to the foreign language. Additionally, immersion isn’t suitable for very young learners or people who have difficulty moving around. Nevertheless, a qualitative online course is open to all.
You want to prioritize motivating criteria to maximise attention
When enrolling for a course or a camp, you must set realistic objectives. A one-hour session per day for a week will not take you to the pinnacle of bilingualism, but you can acquire the tools to have a specialised conversation (on the Women’s World Cup in football, for example), master your next professional presentation in English or play Fortnite online with players around the world!
Of course, for regular repetition, same as Sisyphus pushing his rock, it is imperative to plan regular sessions after your camp.
Another advantage of personalised camps: sessions are adapted to the learner’s level, objectives and interests. We have more appetite to communicate on subjects that matter to us. Selective attention is one of the pillars of learning, as learning specialist and neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene points out. For that reason, VivaLing has developed exciting themes to make our summer camps fun and engaging. Of course, if our student has a specific passion or needs help to prep for a particular project, VivaLing’s coaches love challenges.
Do choose a camp that tackles all language skills!
As a sports session requires mixing endurance, strength, stretching and cardio to stimulate muscles effectively, learning foreign languages involves mixing various activities within a session.
A language skill studied in isolation limits progression. You can watch 100 hours of subtitled films, improve your comprehension and vocabulary level, but remain paralysed when it comes to communication. Similarly, repetitive language applications develop lexical and syntactic knowledge, but isolate these skills from the practice of a foreign language, which discourages many vocations.
VivaLing camps are carefully masterminded to offer simultaneous exposure to all 4 core skills: communication and oral comprehension, writing and reading. An interesting language camp offers a varied and engaging study environment.
Intensive Camp on holiday? Help!
But casually lying on a hammock with fresh lemonade and a recyclable straw, it changes everything!
Research in neuroscience has shown that knowledge is acquired when it becomes automated. Automation is achieved through training and repetition. How to build a new habit? It is necessary to come back to a concept at least 3 times in order for it to become firmly established. VivaLing integrates the review of previously studied elements with the acquisition of new knowledge at each session.
Oh, no! Not the screens during summer.
For the youngest, and rightly so, parents want to control screen time, especially on holiday. The interesting nuance is to balance control and intelligent learning of their usefulness.
In many Anglo-Saxon schools, children work exclusively on computers from secondary school onwards. Teachers do not control the use of screens during lessons, and the first steps are quite chaotic. But the pedagogical approach quickly educates students to manage their relationship with the screen. The students are taught to check the quality of the information found (sources must be mentioned and selected), and powerful software programs check that the answers are not copied and pasted from low internet materials.
Exposing children to intelligent digital resources is very formative.
Why shouldn’t you be able to tailor your program?
Being able to plan your classes at a time that is convenient for you or your family is a must – for children during their holiday stay with grandparents, during lunch break at work, in the evening before an aperitif on the hammock.
Choose a duration that is compatible with your schedule (the most important thing is to be regular, not a marathon runner). The ability to concentrate is a key element in choosing the right daily time. We all have that choice time when learning is easier and more efficient, and individualised and personalised sessions require a great deal of attention.