Learning, Broadening Horizons and Having Fun in a Secure Environment – Arabic Summer Camp at Givat Haviva
As globalization flourishes and economic and social boundaries continue to blur, the importance of language skills at the workplace, at home, and, of course, while traveling (business or pleasure), is on a constant rise. Consider also the following: children and young people are usually more adept than adults at learning new languages; immersive language studies are proven to work better than conventional classroom only courses; Arabic is spoken by 420 million people around the world. Combining all of the above, it becomes abundantly apparent that summer camps geared towards teaching languages in general, and Arabic specifically, in a different and highly enjoyable way, alongside a plethora of summer activities and social / cultural interactions with the local population, provide a nearly ideal setting for imbuing the next generations of adults with language skills that will help them succeed.
The Multicultural Summer Program at Givat Haviva
Givat Haviva’s Multicultural Summer Program (MSP), provided in concert with Study in Israel, focuses on teaching spoken Arabic to Israeli and English speaking teens aged 15-18 from around the globe, and it presents an excellent example of such a camp. As an educational program, the Givat Haviva program offers all that you might expect from a course in Arabic, including classroom studies (100-150 hours) and individual study resources. As a summer camp, it offers all of the activities and amenities of a fun place for teens to spend their summer, including sports, a swimming pool and a variety of additional extracurricular options.
However, the appeal of the Multicultural Summer Program is rooted in those things that you won’t find in a standard Arabic program or summer camp. Here are two examples:
Immersion: Study after study show that immersion, especially for young people, provides a particularly effective means for teaching languages. At the Givat Haviva summer camp, each student is paired with 2 host families – an Arab family from one of the nearby cities in Israel’s Wadi Ara region, which they visit on a weekly basis, allowing them to practice what they learn first hand and exposing them to a different culture and way of life; an Israeli family in the nearby Kibbutz Ein-Shemer, which gives students a wider perspective on the societal diversity in Israel.
Field Trips: Numerous trips in the region, to places such as Akko (Acre), Caesarea, Druze Villages, and the Christian Arab quarters of Nazareth, further exposing students to the many faces of Israel.
Givat Haviva’s Multicultural Summer Program has many other unique qualities, such as providing incomparable security and an opportunity to observe the peace process up close, all of which make it an exceptionally good example of a simultaneously practical, gratifying and enriching venue for a summer activity for teens.