Harnessing the power of friendships
While campers are encouraged to speak the Language of the Day in order to create an immersion environment, don't be concerned that "English Day" will only mean "my daughter will speak English all day!" This is where the magic of the program really happens: in the power of friendship. An Anglophone camper will spend her French days picking up new vocabulary and concepts, and then on English days will immediately put those to use when she's helping her Francophone friend understand what's going on!
Approximately 35% of our campers are fully bilingual, and can always step in to help a fellow camper with translations if they're really stuck. Unless there is an emergency, or a situation where emotional or physical safety is being threatened, our staff are expected not to translate for the campers.
Through the necessity of problem solving or translating for their newfound friends, campers are self-motivated to work on their second language. Ouareau girls come from all over the world to learn their second (or third!) language, but they stay because of the whole camp experience — the language learning becomes secondary to the love of camp as an environment where you get to try new activities, meet new friends, and return year after year to live the language with your peers.
Our goal, and what our campers experience, is an enjoyment of learning that is propelled by intrinsic motivation, and not by external pressures. It's really learning for the sake of growing!
What our campers are saying...
"You develop a relationship with [the other girls], so you WANT to learn their language, and they also want to learn yours... At camp, everyone is there to help you learn, the environment is fantastic here... Everyone wants to help you, everyone wants to explain what's happening."
— Zoé T, camper for 9 years
"[My bunk mates] won't just translate a word for me, they'll actually explain to me what it means."
— Marie J, camper for 9 years
"After [my] years at camp, I speak English and I have a lot of friends."
— Sophie P, camper for 7 years