esl camps 

By Amy Fendley Spanish: Whistler es un lugar fabuloso para aprender el ingles y gozarde de la naturalez a que existe a qui. English: Whistler is a fabulous place to learn English in a natural environment. There have been a lot of Spanish speaking children flocking to our resort this summer. As English as a Second Language educational schools and camps wind down their summer season in the next few weeks, news is good. Matt Collingwood, owner and director of the Tamwood International College says that business this summer is up 10 per cent from last year. "The market has pretty much stabilized since the Korean crisis occurred, last year," says Collingwood. "It’s a fairly static industry, since most international economies have seen little fluctuation in the last while. There are new camps in Vancouver entering into the market, but we haven’t noticed an impact from them." Collingwood says that Japanese students continue to be the number one education consumer, followed by Spanish-speaking students and Europeans. Shugaku Ryoko, or school excursion tours, are a well established part of the school curriculum in Japan and have a 100 year history in the Japanese educational system. Elementary schools generally choose a neighbouring region or destination within Japan. However, senior high schools often select international destinations. The Shugaku Ryoko has established a very strong image as part of the educational process in Japan. Although the school conducts the tour primarily for educational purposes, the actual travel is tourism oriented in the traditional sense and contains elements similar to an ordinary sightseeing tour. The difference lies in the educational aspect and objective of the tour, which focuses on the students learning during travel; learning from travel and learning with travel. For the past five years, 12 high schools in Koriyama City, Japan have chosen their top ESL students and paid to send them to Whistler. They honour the Tamwood Camp by giving them cherry trees, which are planted in a grove near Fitzsimmons Creek. "We’re getting quite an orchard near the Fitzsimmons," says Collingwood. "They do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They just enjoy Whistler and keep coming back." Club Jodyco is an established summer language camp for children, which operates out of Whistler during July and August. Jody Wilson is the owner and director of Jodyco, and also operates a multi-lingual guide service. She too has had no shortage of students this summer. The camp’s goal is to provide students with an educational summer experience in the company of other children of various cultures and languages. "The distinguishing factor of Club Jodyco is that local kids are involved, acting as councillors," says Wilson. "They get to stay with local families, really getting the chance to interact. "Why do they need to learn other languages? It establishes early on that there are a lot of people in the world, and the friends they meet are not always going to speak their language. Whistler children especially are exposed to so many foreign people speaking languages they should be familiar with. I think our children should be able to greet their tourists. "It’s not just about learning another language either, it’s learning another culture, how to walk, how to shake hands, what food they’re eating, and how their minds think. We are living in an international resort, this stuff is important." Virginia Hasell, director of the Whistler Language Institute, says that business this summer has been average, and nothing to get excited about. "There are a lot of schools and camps opening in Vancouver," says Hasell. "If anything that’s where ESL business in Whistler goes down. That, and there are a lot of unregistered companies. But I think internationally, tourists still associate Whistler as more of a winter resort than a summer resort."

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