Now that it's finally starting to feel like spring, it's time to turn our attention to summer. Lucky for all of us Chicagoans who have been chilled to the bone these last few months, the warmer temperatures will be here before you know it. For families, summer means school is out and camp is in session. And, this summer, you can take advantage of the foreign language learning and cultural immersion options available for children of all ages right here in the Windy City.
Below are several foreign language and cultural immersion summer camps in Chicago:
Global Explorer Kids / Luther Memorial Church, 2500 W. Wilson
Session Dates: July 29 - August 9, from 9 - 11:30
Global Explorer Kids offers children (ages 4 - 10) the opportunity to take a virtual trip around the world this summer. Each day, children "visit" a different country. With passports in hand, campers "fly" to the featured destination, and then explore the arts of that country through flag making, art activities, storytelling, games, music, movement and more.
Visit www.globalexplorerskids.org for more information on the specific countries campers will "visit" each day and session costs.
Language Stars / Lincoln Park Center, 1741 N. Elston St.
Session Dates: June 17 - August 24 (Class length and times vary)
Language Stars offers play-based, full-immersion foreign language programs for children ages 1 - 10 in Spanish, French, German, Italian and Mandarin Chinese. All of their programs are taught by dynamic, native-speaking teachers. This summer, Language Stars offers several, flexible options for young campers:
- Immersion Camps: Children ages 3 - 8 years old can attend five-day, week-long immersion camps for two weeks or more. You can choose for your child to go half-day or full-day - and select the weeks that works best for you.
- Immersion Classes: Children ages 1 - 10 years old can attend immersion classes one or more days per week. Kids-only options are half-day sessions or 85-minute classes. Parent-tot classes (for children ages 1 - 3 years) are 60 minutes long. You can choose one or more days - whatever works best with your summertime schedule.
- Immersion Passes: Parents with children ages 3 - 10 can choose to purchase 10 half-day passes, which can be used for any summertime classes.
Visit www.languagestars.com for additional class and pricing information.
Lycée Francais de Chicago's World Camp / 613 W. Bittersweet Place
Session Dates: June 24 - August 2 and August 19 - 23, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Lycée Francais de Chicago's World Camp offers children (ages 3 - 10) a true international experience in Chicago. Campers of all language learning levels can advance their language skills through singing, cooking, arts and science projects, dance and theatre, animated moving making, and more. You can choose to have your children learn in French, Arabic, German or Mandarin Chinese.
Visit www.lyceechicago.org for additional camp and pricing information.
Multilingual Kids / Logan Square Location, 2518 W. Armitage.
Session Dates: June 24 - August 23, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (half-day and full-day options available)
This summer, Multilingual Kids is partnering with Kids' Table to offer children ages 4 - 10 years old the opportunity to take embark on a global adventure to Spanish-speaking countries. Campers will discover each featured destination through language and food - the true travel experience! Potential destinations include:
- Spain, June 24-28
- Central America, July 8-12, July 15-19
- South America, Aug 5-9, Aug 12-16, Aug 19-23
Visit the Multilingual Chicago website for additional class and pricing information.
To me, summer is all about letting our children relax, run a bit wild, and enjoy the warm weather. And, it's all the better if they can use the time to learn or perfect a foreign language or even take a virtual trip around the world.
Now, it's time to count down the days until school lets out and kids can have fun on a whole new, globally inspired level.
Do you plan to use the summer months to help add extra fuel to your child's foreign language learning efforts? If yes, which options are you looking at this summer? Do you have any other ones to add to the above list? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.