Why a middle school language immersion program?

  •  Immersion programs in language and culture are different than classroom learning situations as they offer students opportunities to surround themselves in a language and a culture as opposed to just learning grammar and other academic material in a classroom.
  •  All of the instruction is done in the target language. Teachers help students understand the language through various techniques: visuals, body language, miming, repetition and acting.
  •  The ultimate goal of all immersion programming is to motivate participants to be life-long learners and responsible citizens in a global community
  •  Middle school students often do not get an opportunity for this kind of immersion experience as most programs are aimed at older students.  But the research shows that immersion works very well with younger students and that the benefits will stay with them as they continue on with their language studies
  •  Immersion learning can be intense, fun, perplexing, rewarding and definitely different than what students are used to.  Faculty and teaching assistants will be specially trained to work with this age group and make the games, activities, songs, skits and outings fun and worthwhile.

Parent Feedback

Parents reported that their children loved the many field trips, new friends, the treasure and scavenger hunts, the food and cooking, the video project, the “fun” nature of the program and the high school teaching assistants. As one parent commented: We thought it was an outstanding program and hope very much that it will be offered next summer!


Over 80% of parents agreed that their child enjoyed this program

Over 70% of parents agreed that their child made good use of the target language during this program

Over 70% of parents agreed that two weeks was a good length of time for this program

Over 90% of parents agreed that the program hours worked well with their family schedule

Parent Comments

I am writing an evaluation of the French first-week of the program. My daughter did not want to attend the camp at first because she feared that everyone could speak French and she could not. She was wrong! She loved the activities, each one which seemed to be exquisitely planned to include a French speaker and an expert teacher in a sport or skill. Also, my daughter became a French-speaker, after each day she would find it hard to begin speaking in English. Merci!!!
My wife and I were very, very satisfied with how [our daughter] responded to Spanish Immersion Camp. She not only became invested in learning the language outside of camp (Speaking with her mom in Spanish and clarifying words and phrasing. Using Google Translate to cook up phrases to share with her mom.) She absolutely loved her counselors! She came home every day reporting on how great each of them was. We hope the program is offered next summer. It’s a great idea. 
Both girls loved interacting with children from other schools, from the drama to the dance to the arts and crafts to visits around the city, and most meaningful was the power and joy they experienced of truly gaining knowledge of a foreign language. [Our daughter] said to me, after the 2nd day, “I felt like French was English. For example when they started to say the word ‘chanter’, I knew and understood the word without having to translate it in my head. 
[My daughter] enjoyed using Spanish more, and she also enjoyed the music, food and games. 
[My daughter] loved the field trips, and gaining confidence in speaking French. She mentioned a couple of the high school/college aged counselors whom she liked especially, and enjoyed hearing about their schooling, language skills, and future plans.
[My son] enjoyed the zumba dancing and he appreciated that the camp structure was relaxing and fun. The staff was great and the campers were fun.
[My daughter] greatly enjoyed all the cooking classes (in particular the strawberry cake and baguette/brioche) as well as the arts and crafts activities. She also loved the wonderful field trips they took — the Cloisters, Central Park treasure hunt, and park outings. The Haitian dance was a big hit as well.
[My son] said the teachers were outstanding and positive and also made everything so much fun.
As far as our experience goes, it was perfect.