English Immersion Camp 2013 Completion Report
English Immersion Camp 2013 was successfully completed!
We held 5 camps at the Hotel Biwako Plaza in Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture from 8/6-8/11, 8/12-8/17, 8/13-8/16, 8/19-8/24 and 8/20-8/23.
We held ‘EIC 6 Days Program’ and ‘EIC 4 Days Program’ this year. All of participants (376 participants) graduated from English Immersion Camp (EIC) 2013!
This year we held not only ‘EIC 6 Days Program’ for children who are studying Kumon English materials I1 or above or have achieved EIKEN Grade 4 on the test in Practical English Proficiency (STEP) but also ‘EIC 4 Days Program’ for children who are studying Kumon English materials G2～H2 or have achieved EIKEN Grade 5 on the Test in Practical English Proficiency (STEP). While camp leaders (CLs) and children who joined ‘EIC 6 Days Program’ communicated with simple English sentences, CLs and children who joined ‘EIC 4 Days Program’ communicated with simple English words. Through 5 camps all of participants (376 participants) graduated from EIC 2013!
Global Camp: Gathering People from Various Countries and Regions around the World!
Students from 15 countries and regions from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Oita and students from 17 countries and regions, living in the Kansai area, cooperated with us for Camp 1,2 and 4 (EIC 6 Days Program) and Camp 3 and 5 (EIC 4 Days Program). Most of the camp leaders were non-native English speakers. In community camp life with the children who had gathered from various prefectures across Japan and the camp leaders, the children not only learned about the joy of using English; they made connections with people from various countries and regions, experienced becoming friends like true family members or siblings and expanded their outlook on the world.
Mistakes are OK!!
As the name of this program suggests, the English Immersion Camp sees participating children immersed in English, but this does not mean that Japanese is completely prohibited. Communication with the camp leaders took place only in English. However, when it was not possible to convey the message skillfully in English to the camp leaders, we often saw the children cooperating with each other using English and Japanese to attempt to somehow communicate by themselves what they wanted to say to the camp leaders. This is what the camp leaders said. “Mistakes are OK!! Try, try!!” While being encouraged by these words, the children enjoyed communicating in English without fear of making mistakes.
Take Action! ～Well Done Points & Bottle Cap Project～
The Well Done Points and Bottle Cap Project programs were again held this year with the intention of “Small actions and contribution for a greater good” without the camp finishing by just being of benefit to ourselves. This year, we collected 7,835 Well Done Points. Hotel Biwako Plaza, which is where the camp was held, converted these points into 235,000 yen and donated this money to areas where support is required. These include the construction of water wells in Sri Lanka and assistance for the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in Tohoku.
In addition, we were able to collect about 10,750 bottle caps through Bottle Cap Project, will exchange them into vaccines, and provide at least 12.5 vaccines for children around the world who suffered from polio.
Camp Impression from Participants
EIC 6 days
Rintaro Fujiwara (6th grade)
I think that I have gained confidence to write, confidence to read and confidence to speak since I participated in this camp. The first reason for this is because I enjoyed learning English. At EIC, events such as the “English Festival,” “Traveling Around the World” and “Love Chain” were held. While everyone was having fun, we heard and came to remember English. The second reason is that the camp leaders helped us to write, such as with our diary. When I was having difficulty because I could not write my diary, the camp leaders would ask me “Can I help you?” and I gained the confidence to speak because they made the utmost effort to try to understand my English, even though it was difficult to catch the meaning of what I was trying to say The third reason is that I could speak a lot of English with the camp leaders and my friends. Around Day 1, I was not able to say much and the camp leaders would have to come to speak to me. However, from around Day 4, I was able to speak with the camp leaders and my friends. On Day 6, I was speaking freely and it was fun in the end.
My dream is to become an English teacher. I am still unable to speak English well and I am only able to remember a small number of words, so with EIC being the first step for me becoming an English teacher, I would like to participate in the APN(Ambassador of Peace Network) and contribute to progress further with the English worksheets of Kumon and then take EIKEN (English proficiency test). I hope I will be able to move closer, little by little, to my dream of becoming an English teacher.
I wonder why the World is not able to be peaceful. I think this because there is a war in Syria and innocent people, who have done nothing wrong, are being killed. I do not know what is best to do by myself, but I really do hope that this planet, we call Earth, is able to achieve everlasting peace.
I love EIC!!
Parent of Rintaro Fujiwara
I would like to thank all the camp leaders and the staff for taking care of Rintaro. Rintaro has a reserved personality, so it takes him some time until he becomes comfortable with other people. However, this is the second time he has participated in this program and he departed even more full of motivation than last year. After he returned home last year, his consciousness of tackling task by himself grew stronger. I think he has become even more proactive this time. At the graduation ceremony, he seemed to enjoy talking to many of the camp leaders. The camp leaders who looked after Rintaro said to me the following: “Rintaro is not reserved, I believe Rintaro will be able to fulfill his dream in the future.” This moved me to tears. I am truly grateful for their valuable involvement. For the children, these six days were a valuable period to develop their minds. Thank you very much.
EIC 4 days
Maya Hosokawa(4th grade)
I went to the reception venue with a certain amount of nervousness: “Can I speak in English?” “Can I make friends?” However, I was really, really surprised because the camp leaders met us by saying “welcome, welcome” while accompanied by clapping and drums. The leaders taught us various games while waiting for everyone to arrive. During this time, my nervousness disappeared and I gradually become more and more cheerful. However, I became nervous again upon knowing that our names would be called one by one at the time of the entrance ceremony.
I decided to try my best without fear of failure after hearing the slogan of “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Let’s try communicating in English.” We took part in many activities over the four days, they were all interesting. Among those, the most interesting activity was “Eco Heroes.”
When the leaders and staff sang for us at the end of the graduation ceremony, I remembered many things and thought “Oh! The camp is already over.” This moved me. At EIC, I could make many friends. I was able to speak and listen to a lot of English. I could make some great memories. It was really good to be able to participate in this program. I want to study really hard so that next time I can go for six days. Thank you very much.
I love EIC! Thank you very much!
Parent of Maya Hosokawa
When I saw Maya during the recreation time prior to the entrance ceremony, she had a nervous expression on her face and she looked uneasy. However, I was truly happy to hear her say she could make friends and enjoyed herself with smiles at the graduation ceremony. It felt really promising to see each and every individual reveal their own dreams in English in front of everyone. The camp leaders said to me, “She did a good job!!” When I heard this, I was really moved with the thought that Maya successfully had the resourcefulness to enjoy spending her time among people she did not know and could complete the four-day program. This is thanks to the children she became friends with and also the leaders and staff who took care of her with kindness and cheerfulness. In the future, when Maya is hesitating about something or is feeling fainthearted, I hope she recalls this experience and the EIC slogan and then carries on tackling her challenges.
Camp Impression from Leaders
Nesya (Camp Leader, Indonesia)
Kumon English Immersion Camp is one life changing experience for me. The people I met in the camp, the kids, camp staffs, camp leaders became a great part of my life as well as an inspiration. The camp was like a place where everyone can shine in their own way, where no one is afraid of being making mistake because everyone will have everybody’s back when they fall. Personally, I am very proud of how the kids are eager to achieve their dreams and their confidence impacted me a lot. In the camp kids have to write their dreams and every time I read their dreams, it was so pure that seeing their faces and smile while presenting the poster gave me the hope I have always been searching for, support. I am truly lucky to be part of the camp.
Luna (Camp Leader, China)
I love the adorable kids so much. All of them showed great enthusiasm, creativity and courage in communicating in English. In a sense, we helped them build up their confidence of speaking English. But from the bottom of my heart, I’ve always been grateful to them because they helped me grow as well. They made me realize how happy it is to make new friends and help each other. To conclude, EIC is not just about English the language itself, but more about communication, understanding and friendship. The wonderful moments we shared at Biwako will forever be cherished. EIC is the most fabulous family!