Summer School Programmes are a Great Way of Learning a New Language for Children

Long days spent with friends, lessons including their favourite topics, exciting trips to new cities, and the chance to explore the stunning English countryside. For your child, a summer spent in the UK staying at a language school filled with great facilities and loads of new friends to make sounds idyllic. So, what are the advantages of taking a summer course in the UK for your child, and what should be on your mind before you book the flight to Heathrow for the first day of their summer holiday?

For children, there are many perks of being able to speak a second language, whether they are younger, aged 8 to 11, or more grown up, aged 11 to 17. Although they may be learning English in their regular lessons at school, you may find their progress could be greatly enhanced by a summer school. A residential or daily course combines bespoke specialist teaching with leisure activities to help make the experience memorable and enjoyable for them.

The benefits of learning at an English summer school include:

Teaching tailored to your child

A summer school can offer learners one key element that other language-learning situations cannot: a period of time in which the focus is on improving English and nothing else. Away from distractions at home, children are free to speak and write in English. Most importantly, specialist teachers can give extra attention to those topics individual students might find difficult, meaning ‘problem’ areas can be polished and improved in a caring and supportive way.

Increased confidence

It may seem daunting if it’s their first trip away from home, but the chance to bond with other children from different countries round the world is a broadening experience. They will complete the course with new confidence and a host of friends to visit in other countries for future holidays!

The all-round experience

A summer school in the UK not only includes classroom-based grammar learning; students will also gain from learning the language in other lessons, as well as seeing the country where it is spoken. Is your son particularly interested in art? Is your daughter a budding athlete? Whatever they are interested in, they can enrol in extracurricular classes taught in English.

They can also experience the UK, from the gorgeous countryside to fantastic lively cities, through day trips organised by the school. Not only a rounded experience, a summer school is also all inclusive: the accommodation, meals and supervision of your child can be arranged, meaning you know their experience will be a safe and happy one.

These aspects all sound great, but what are the top five questions parents should ask when deciding if a summer school is right for their children?

1) How proficient is their English? Pick a course of a level and age range suitable for your child, and don’t be afraid to contact the school directly to ask for examples and guidance – they’ll be happy to help.

2) Are they happy travelling alone? Could a friend or sibling go too? If they are apprehensive, consider the option of a Parent & Child summer school, which will mean you are there to support them and you’ll have the chance to brush up on your English, too.

3) How long would they like to go for? At a leading language school such as one run by SKOLA London summer schools usually run for one week, but term-time and longer courses are also an option.

4) What are you hoping to gain? It’s important that you discuss with your child the many great advantages the school will give them in addition to improved English. Courses where you stay with them can be a reassuring option if they are at all nervous.

5) What accreditation does the school have? It may sound obvious, but you need to consider what the school can offer, as well as what your child is looking to achieve. Alongside thorough research, and reading recommendations from the testimonials of previous students and parents, accreditation with authoritative organisations such as the British Council is a reassuring stamp of approval.

So, all that’s left is for you to begin researching. Happy hunting for this summer’s language-learning adventure!

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