WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning, and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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Community-based Learning

By RoseE Arianne Hadden | Published: May 1, 2018

As many families prepare for an upcoming summer camp experience, we have chosen community-based learning as our WorldView Blog theme for the month of May.

Community-based learning is all about the powerful kind of teaching that happens every day in a camp setting. This week we revisit some of our best blogposts of what community-based learning is and what it can do.

Dr. Heidi E. Hamilton is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and a Village Mentor at Concordia Language Villages, where she’s been involved in teaching and learning for more than 40 years. Here, she discusses the creative tilt: the practice of creating a clear learning routine with defined expectations and then deliberately disrupting that routine to give learners the opportunity to problem-solve, take on new roles, and re-engage in the routine from a fresh angle. The concept of creative tilt in a camp setting provides learning spaces that mimic the larger world, where anything can happen, and helps students to approach new surprises with spontaneity and delight.

Steve and Suzie Baskin are parents of a Lac du Bois villager and the executive directors of Camp Champions in Marble Falls, TX. In 2013, Steve gave a talk at TedxSanAntonio to discuss how the unplugged nature of summer camp encourages young people to develop skills like oral communication, collaboration, and creativity. You can watch Steve’s presentation here.

Patricia Thornton, former dean of the Japanese Language Village and former director of Concordia Language Villages’ summer programs, offers insights into the importance of time and place in this blogpost from 2016. A summer camp setting provides in abundance two resources that are often scarce in a classroom: a significant space in which to shape a purposeful community, and enough time to let that community grow and learn together. You can read her thoughts on “learning unbound” here.

Mark Chen is a Group Director at Concordia Language Villages, and we call him Kenji. In this blogpost, he explores why that’s important. Just as every language has unique nuances of meaning, so also do target-language names allow learners to explore new facets of their identities, finding a new self to fit into life at a language camp. Second-language names create a sense of community around the shared experience of learning a language and a culture. 

Community-based learning melds education and friendship to cement an unforgettable experience for campers and staff alike.  The summer season is almost upon us as camps open across the country and around the world.

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