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dean campblog

By Dean Marriott

Trying to keep children entertained is a challenge at the best of times, so with the summer holidays fast approaching, many of my friends and colleagues are starting to go into panic mode.  So much free time, but no idea what to do with it!

Not every parent can take their holidays to correspond with their children’s school holidays, so finding daytime care is a constant worry.  Local day camps may be limited in your area, as most of the bigger providers focus on the more lucrative residential programmes which draw on a global pool of students.

Whilst many children just want to have fun during their holidays, adding an educational element could maximise the benefit derived from attending a summer day programme.  Finding the right combination of education, fun and price is a challenge, but one which could be worth seeking out.

As adults, we know how precious our leisure time is for us and generally plan our activities carefully to take full advantage of the time available.  For children, spoilt with extensive weeks of school holiday, a little bit of selective planning could be a good investment for the future.

I attended many summer acting programmes as a teenager and I adored the experience.  Coming from the UK, and being a native English speaker of English parents, languages were never really given much consideration during my school holidays.  However, looking back I often wonder what it would have been like if I had attended a programme in a language other than English that combined my passion for theatre and performance with language acquisition.

This desire to combine the two, forms the basis of my approach to language teaching and was the key consideration when establishing the World Language Learning Centre for GEMS World Academy in Etoy in October 2013.  After just 18 months, our centre has been recognised by Cambridge English for this approach to teaching, supported by an innovative use of technology, as we are one of 3 finalists in the global preparation centre awards for 2015 in the Ambassador for Digital Technology and Innovation category.  I will be making a presentation at the finals in Cambridge in July.

Students who attend the World Language Learning Centre, both adults and children, come because they have usually tried the traditional language schools and either failed to embrace their approach to teaching or simply gotten bored in the classroom.  We all know that time flies when you are having fun and that is what should be happening when learning a language actively.  Being hands-on and engaged means that you don’t notice the clock ticking away.  Using theatre and film, supported by technology, helps us to achieve this.

So if you are still looking for something to complement the many sports and general activity camps on offer, but don’t want to send your child to a traditional language school, you may wish to have a look at what is happening in Etoy this summer. Fun, education and a highly competitive price tag! http://www.gemsworldacademy-etoy.com/summer2015

Among the other programmes taking place on the GWA-Etoy campus this summer is Julie Tomkins-Wagner’s Summer Music Program, now in its 20th year!  For more information about summer camps, please consult the Knowitall.ch Activities Calendar.

Author's bio


Dean Marriott was born in London and educated in the UK and Germany.  He retired from a career in finance, aged 33, and subsequently retrained as an actor and teacher.  From an early age, his passion for languages has underpinned both his professional and social lives.  In his quest for leisure activities, Dean keeps one key thought in mind: if Shakespeare’s words are true and ‘All the world's a stage’, we shouldn’t have to look far in order to be entertained.  We just have to make the time to appreciate it.  

If you are searching for an element of entertainment in your leisure pursuits and have a desire to look beyond the obvious, then Dean will use his artistic eye to point you in the right direction.  

Dean is currently the Director of the World Language Learning Centre at GEMS World Academy-Etoy, where he promotes the idea that language learning is about embodying a new language, not simply studying it.