“Bilingualism is a huge asset. Especially if you live in Brussels, like I do”, Maëlle Pierlot says. In 2021 she went to the Dutch camp ‘City and adventure’, in Ghent.
Maëlle: “My parents encouraged me to sign up for a language camp. We perused the catalog together. I was immediately interested in going.”
Did you learn a lot at the language camp?
“At the camp, the teachers always encourage you to speak in the foreign language, even if it is still new to you. Fortunately for me, I already had a basic knowledge of the Dutch language. And if a word slipped my mind, I could always resort to describing it."
“Despite my passable knowledge of the Dutch language, I have picked up many new words and grammatical constructions. I use what I learned at camp when I talk to my Dutch-speaking friends. Even the students who were not yet very proficient in Dutch made a lot of progress during the camp.”
What are your best memories of that language vacation?
“I especially loved the kayak trip and the outings to the city center of Ghent. Since I was appointed to the older age group, we were allowed to have a say in the activities we could do. We also organized a casino evening by ourselves. That was great fun, too.”
What is the difference between the language lessons at school and the language workshops at a Roeland camp?
“Language lessons at school are a tad too slow for me because we often repeat the same things. Being immersed in a foreign language for thirteen days is a completely different approach. You learn a lot fast, consciously and subconsciously.”
“I really like the Dutch language. To be able to use it in a big Flemish city was a very uplifting experience.”