Making Learning Fun for Them AND Easy for You!
I've been teaching English to children and adults for 10 years in Costa Rica, Spain, France and Australia. These are my "ride or die" games and activities to get your students (both kids and adults!) participating and interested in learning. They are easy to lead and entertaining for you too! Keep reading to see my tried and true list.
Another Year Abroad in The Books
Just a few days after getting married (for the second time), David and I packed up everything we owned, headed to Thailand for a month and then arrived in Brisbane, Australia. A year later, David is able to speak confidently in English, I have transitioned from a school teacher to an adult ESL professional and we've completed an exciting year of marriage away from our family and friends. I highly recommend spending a year abroad ... especially in this beautiful, exciting and carefree country.
American Village in France
Four of the best summers of my life were spent in France working at American Village. This summer camp (with spring and autumn sessions as well) provides French children immersion in English while participating in traditional summer camp activities such as dodgeball, skits, capture the flag, tie dye and all camp evening programs. Prepare to reinvent yourself as a variety of characters (from Rihanna to conjoined twin aliens to vomiting bugs to robots), not sleep for more than 4 hours a night and make friends that will last a lifetime. There is no work visa required for this job.
You can apply to American Village here.
- American Village has a number of sites all over France located in small villages that are breathtakingly beautiful. Some of the sites are even in old castles (as pictured above)
- French children are adorable (that accent!) and you can work with kids, pre-teens or teenagers
- If you are a creative person, this is the perfect job for you as you will be creating signs, games, activities, sets, costumes and much more...
- If you teach English, or are curious about teaching English, half of the counselors are Language Counselors and give daily classes to the children connected with the daily themes such as Wild West Day, Hollywood Day, etc.
- Days off can be an adventure: we're talking hitchhiking, tasting local foods, exploring nearby (or far away) cities or simply enjoying any quiet corner at camp that is KID FREE
- But the #1 best part of AmVil are the other people you'll meet and all of the crazy, stressful, exciting times you'll have
- If you're coming from the US, be prepared to hand over some serious cash for your flight, but if you're coming from Europe it makes a bit more sense
- LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG hours, like 7am wake up, with the kids ALL DAY, meetings at 10pm and more prep for the next day or hanging out with your fellow counselors until LATE
- You can get moved around sites a lot, so if you plan on working with a friend, plan on not seeing them the entire summer
- Some directors are horrible, THE END.
- The pay isn't great, and that last time I did it we were paid on a card. SKETCH.
Granja Escuela Atalaya in Spain
Granja Escuela Atalaya (Farm School Atalaya) is a family owned and run farm near Albacete, Spain. It includes a former summer palace, animals such as a horse, pony, donkey, peacocks, chickens, dogs, goats and pigs, a vegetable garden, workshops for ceramics and aromatherapy, a wood burning oven, swimming pool and lots of land perfect for Spook Walks, night games and exploring. The camp runs English and Spanish sessions for children and counselors and campers stay in rooms with bunk beds, or spend the night in tents. If you speak Spanish and/or English, are interested in eco-friendly activities, and love exploring the great outdoors, this is the camp for you. I spent two amazing summers here.
To learn more about Granja Escuela Atalaya click here.
- The farm is a lush oasis nestled among mountains, desert sands and olive groves. At night the sky is so clear and I've never seen the Milky Way so clearly in my life; the closest village is charming and lies in the shadow of castle ruins
- Many of the counselors have been working at Atalaya for years, some of them having attended the camp as children
- The all camp games and activities at night are creative and entertaining, followed by a special session for older campers with age restricted activities
- Sports, the arts and the eco-friendly lifestyle meet here
- If you speak Spanish, or are looking to learn, this could be a great opportunity for you
- If you love animals, there are a lot of animals that need attention (and food!) on the farm
- Again, LOOOOOOOONNNNGGGG hours, but aren't all summer camps like this?
- Spanish kids are a bit more, um, active than French kids. They are tons of fun, but their energy is endless!
- You need to be an EU citizen to work here, or obtain a work visa. The camp was able to sponsor me for a work visa, which was amazing!
Excellencia in France
Excellencia is a boarding school during the year and offers French and English immersion summer camps when school is out. The facilities here are top notch including housing, a theatre, classrooms, an indoor pool, sports fields and more. Also, there are some champagne caves on the same street for counselors looking to experience the bubbly French way of life! I worked here part of one summer and was able to pick up quite a bit of French. You don't need a work visa for this camp.
To read about Excellencia, click here.
- THE FOOD. If you like gourmet French meals, prepare to indulge, and gain a few pounds in the process
- The kids are a bit spoiled, but they are nice and they are willing to participate in activities and English classes which the counselors are in charge of
- The facilities are gorgeous and there is a river nearby. On days off you can visit famous wine caves or simply wander through the small town and its vineyards. This has to be one of the most beautiful regions of France
- Similar to American Village, but not quite as crazy, you will be relying on your creativity to come up with fun activities and games
- If you know some French and are looking to learn more, this is a great place for that as there is a French camp at the same time and most of the meetings are held in French
- The camp is newish, so there are a few bumps here and there that need to be worked out such as scheduling problems
- LOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG hours
- Not the best pay, but when you are getting paid to play dodgeball and dress up like a character, it isn't so bad
If you have any questions about these specific camps, just leave a comment below!
Have you worked at a summer camp abroad? Where was it? What was it like?
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