District 742 Students Experience Concordia Language Villages
BEMIDJI -- Seven different nations are tucked into the deep north woods of Bemidji at the Concordia Language Villages, recently visited by students of District 742.
French, German and Spanish students from the district spent four days there being immersed in their chosen language.
Amanda Bailey is a French Teacher at Apollo and Tech High School. She says the site goes well beyond what they can teach in a normal classroom setting because of its authenticity.
"The camp replicates that right here in Minnesota, they do that by bringing in native speakers and doing it on a site that's culturally authentic. So the France sight looks like France, the German one like Germany."
Bailey says the villages really provide students a high level of immersion by creating a need for them to use whatever language the village represents.
"So they provide that need to use a language. If you want to go get food, you have to use the language, if you'd like to get candy from the candy shop, you have to ask it in the target language. If you want to participate in a game? You have to do it in the target language so it [the village] provides that need."
Bailey, who worked at the villages before becoming a teacher in the district says they regularly saw students from around the world, including Germany and India.
Concordia Language Villages recently received a $5-million gift to add Korean to the other seven they have. Over 10,000 students and adults spend time there every year. The villages currently host Finnish, French, German, Russian, Norwegian, Spanish and Sweedish cultures.