Memphis — The Lasallian Language Camp at Christian Brothers University (CBU) exposed this year’s visiting Mexican students to the Memphis culture by engaging them in creative activities and tours of the area to enhance their English skills.
For the seventh consecutive year, students ages 11-13 from Northern Mexico immersed themselves not only in the English language but also in the native culture and its norms. During their month here in Memphis, the students attended class for three hours in the morning where they were exposed to intense instruction of the English language, followed by an afternoon homework session, arts and crafts, sports activities and field trips.
Debbie Thomas, the new program director, used the resources of the local community to expose the 33 students and their six chaperons to the Memphis culture and provide them a variety of opportunities to practice their English skills. “The best way to acquire a new language is through a natural approach in the local setting — immersion,” states Thomas.
Memphis music, especially Elvis Presley, was a central theme of this year’s camp and a big hit among the campers. The students created puppets and performed a puppet show featuring Elvis prior to visiting Graceland. “While at Graceland, the students were overjoyed to use their new language skills,” Thomas noted. “They were in the gift shop asking how much different items cost and excited to be able to communicate in English.”
Upon returning to the CBU campus, the students participated in an Elvis party where they dressed as Elvis or Priscilla. Costumes included a Vegas Elvis, Army Elvis, Karate Elvis, 1968 Elvis, and a variety of “Priscillas.” Even CBU senior, Samantha Almanza, camp activities director, dressed as Priscilla for the party. They had a blast singing karaoke, playing trivia games, playing pool, and eating peanut butter & banana sandwiches.
In addition, the students participated in a number of field trips, including a visit to the Mississippi River and FedEx for a hub tour.