When we started our blog almost three years ago we wanted it to be a platform to shine a light on new and emerging musicals from all over the world and while that has stayed as one of our top priorities, we have also been able to write about a range of other experiences which we are extremely grateful for! We have been able to review a plethora of products from small businesses all over the world (most recently from how’s you head wigs which is available at https://rhysreviews.com/2022/04/28/hows-your-head-wigs-product-review/), original story books (for example mama G’s Dick Whittington book which we reviewed at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/12/05/dick-whittington-book-review/, we have been invited to press events for movies (like Donna available at https://rhysreviews.com/2022/07/14/donna-movie-review/ but also have been able to travel around the world thanks to the support of our followers! One of our most popular post series documented our time doing the same journey before the global lockdowns occurred. The full post is available at https://rhysreviews.com/2019/08/03/hungary-week-2/ but essentially we began this trip believing the Anglovile experience was a scam but when we finally arrived at the campsite it was one of the most enjoyable experiences we have ever taken part in. Within this blog, I talked about the empowering feeling of strutting through the airport in my first ever solo flying experience but this trip got off to a very rough start with my bag being accidentally taken by someone else which we talked about during our first blog posts about our Hungarian adventure (which you can read at https://rhysreviews.com/2019/08/03/hungary-week-2/but we have finally arrived at the summer camp where we are teaching so it is finally time to talk about what an Anglovile camp is actually like!
The first thing that people need to know about Anglovile is that the organisation invites native English speakers from all over the world to help summer camps where they learners aim to develop their use of the English language. Instead of the traditional approach to learning where students are given grammar rules and vocabulary etc in a classroom environment, the English lesson here are much more conversational based. Learners are simply required to partake in a series of chats with the native speakers where they can talk about anything they like (within reason) so the learning takes place through exposure to knew utterances and informal corrections. This style of learning is much more comfortable and relaxing for the learners and so encourages them to participate as much as they can. As one of the international participants, this methodology takes a lot less preparation but does mean you must stay active throughout the whole session in order to steer conversations or react accordingly. The timetable of this year’s camp was essentially exactly the same as the previous one with the omission of Anglo-America and culture sessions which I think is a real shame. From the Hungarians participant’s perspective, of course, they are there to learn English but for the native speakers, there should also be some form of cultural exchange for them also. The camp utilises a language Immersion style approach (where there is no Hungarian) which is a fantastic way for the learners to pick up new language but I personally enjoy learning about Hungarian culture and language so for me this is also very valuable so o wish there would have been an opportunity for more cultural exchange to take place! Within the programmes of the camp, I believe that I and the young learners had the most fun taking part in a photo scavenger hunt where we had to find a series of objects as a group. My personal highlight of the week however would have to have been the talent show where I performed my classic physic magic show and we saw incredible singers, wonderful dancers, other brilliant magicians and even some insane impressionists who all came together to deliver a very entertaining show!
This year’s camp took place in Kunsagi Major (the exact same location as last year’s camp) which is a big, open ranch that has plenty of space to play games which is perfect for a summer camp. Everyone was given the opportunity to ride some of the horses, for an extra fee, but my particular favourite facility would have to be the pool! If you know anything about Hungary then you will know that it is famous for being an extremely hot country so the cold waters were very welcomed! General speaking I did find that the hotel staff were a little hostel to both international and Hungarian participants (for example keeping towels hostage as they were too dirty or changing the time in which the pool was closed day but day) but we only saw them for a short period of time every day and all issues could usually be solved by the Hungarian speaking leaders. Usually, these mentors are unpaid but this year I was given the role of activity leader which pays around £150 for the week where my main responsibility is organising the games/activities that the learners will take part in. This also meant that the number of speaking sessions I took part in was severely decreased which is something that people should be aware of when signing up for this role. This position had me leading organising and leading the games (which tended to be recycled drama games), social activities and group activities that everyone took part in!
Overall, anglovile is not only a real experience but also is a great environment for learners to practise and develop their English skills. It seems that organisation and communication is still an area that the company needs to work on as I was still receiving questions from international participants regarding what they are supposed to be doing each day and at what time. The other issue was that Hungarian participants who had done numerous camps back to back quickly became unmotivated as they did the same activities in group sessions and talked about the same things in speaking sessions as the international participants changed but some Hungarians stayed the same! This first week was fairly chaotic but everyone seemed to be enjoying their time at Kunsagi which really is the most important thing! I would rate my first week at Anglovile 3.5 stars out of 5!