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Theory and practice in language immersion camps: common challenges and how to solve them


The popularity of immersion programs as one of the most effective means to learn foreign languages and cultures is constantly growing. More and more children are getting involved in immersion programs in schools, language courses and summer camps. During the last fifty years both Russian and foreign scholars have been trying to establish a theoretical basis for developing communicative and intercultural competence which would inform program design and ultimately the results of such programs. We describe various aspects of creating immersion programs and to analyze their key ideas. The article draws from both authors’ lengthy experience as language immersion summer camp organizers to describe the experience of applying immersion principles in practice. We summarize more than ten years of experience and exchange visits of representatives of the two immersion camps “Forest Сamp”, Russia, and “Lesnoye Ozero”, the USA. We describe common challenges arising in the working process and suggest ways of dealing with them.


language and culture studies, communicative and intercultural competence, immersion program, summer language camp

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Theory and Methods of Foreign Language Teaching in Secondary General School

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