The Final Evaluations from Operación Inglés 2012Exam Results:
Students took a language placement exam on July 2 and a final exam on Thursday 19 July. The two exams were “mirror exams”, meaning that, although apparently different, they contained exactly the same format and tested exactly the same areas of language. The only difference was the section on culture that tested students on information that specific teachers will have given them during the camp.
We were glad to note that the final exam average was 6.35 % higher than that of the placement exam (71.13% as opposed to 64.77%). Our main aim in the camp is to achieve students’ long-term interest in the language and to motivate them to study more English, but that does not prevent us from being happy to see a significant improvement in their level after just three weeks!
Student Evaluations (114 answers)
When evaluating the different aspects of the camp, the students gave us these grades:
|Order of Preference
||An evaluation of over 90% shows that we are on the right track, and we are glad to see that the basic elements of the camp, such as the team of monitors, the organization, the atmosphere, and the fun had are all up at this level.
- Weekend in Zújar
||- Olympic Challenge
||The evaluations of the Olympic Challenge day and the timetable lay-out have both increased by over 10% in the last two years.
||- Sports - After-dinner Activities
||- Spanish/ English learned
We were especially glad to see that students are evaluating the language that they have learned at camp more positively (there is a 14% increase compared to in 2010)
- Bus Services
||That camp food is rated so highly is surprising – thank you to all the kitchen staff at Colegio San José!
||- Weekend in Cañamero
This weekend received a lower grade than last year: for some it was the highlight of the camp, but others didn’t like the walking!
||We are aware that you don’t like having to return to the classroom after a fun-filled afternoon of activities, but we see this as a key moment for reuniting classes, and for gauging the atmosphere and mood at the camp that day.
At the end of the camp, the students were given a questionnaire in which they were asked to evaluate some of the different facets of the camp as being excellent, good, fine, not very good or poor. To create the statistics, we convert the evaluations into percentages: 92% means that (using the rating of the team of monitors as an example) that 79 students thought that the quality of the monitors was excellent, 29 that it was good, 4 that it was fine, and 2 that it was not very good or poor. In the case of the evaluation of the weekend in Cañamero, 34 students thought that the weekend was excellent, 40 thought that it was good, 28 thought that it was fine, and 12 thought that it was not very good or poor.
Although we take into account the fact that statistics can hide as much as they can reveal truth, and also accepting that different students have different needs or tastes, all in all we are happy with these evaluations and see them as a reward for the work that we have put into trying to cater to every student as an individual. Nevertheless, we realize that complacency is for fools, and that what we offer can always be improved, and we are already working on making next year’s Operación Inglés better still.
We will try to address some of the comments that we have received with a view to 2013:
The walk to the animal rescue center is a bit further than we would like, and in the heat of the Badajoz sun, it can be hard. However, the work that the volunteers are doing at AMUS transcends the summer camp, and our support helps them to continue their labor of preserving the fauna of the region. Moreover, it gives us all a change from the school routine and the tour is given in English, so it is wonderful practice!
The Weekend Trips:
We are somewhat limited in our choice of weekend destinations, and having tried out all the sites within traveling distance, we are staying with the two destinations that we already have. At the heart of this decision is the security of all our students: we know the monitors at both destinations well and have full confidence in their professionalism and capacity of reaction when there are problems. Students who repeat the camp do sometimes complain that they are returning to the same places, but I’m afraid that until we find a viable alternative, this cannot be helped. Some of the older students didn’t enjoy the weekend at Cañamero – mainly due to the lack of free time –, and some of the younger students (and monitors) didn’t enjoy the weekend at Isla de Zújar due to the lack of programmed activities.
We allow cell phones at Operación Inglés because it is a summer camp, and not a school, because many use them as cameras, and because we think that students are responsible enough to use them sensibly. However, if students do not use their phones responsibly, and use them – for example – as alarm clocks to wake up at 4 O’clock in the morning in order to play tricks on other students, we confiscate them. We would also like to repeat that at camp phones can get lost, broken or stolen (if left outside), and that we encourage you not to bring valuable iPhones or Blackberries.
Parent Evaluations (37 replies)
36 out of 37 parents stated that they would send their child to the camp again (one replied that maybe) and 100% of all the parents that answered said that they would recommend the camp to other parents.
The aspects of the camp that the parents were least happy about were the price and the information on the Webpage. Regarding the former, the camp is not designed to make a profit for either of the institutions involved in its organization, and we try to keep the price as low as feasibly possible. As for the latter, I will work on the Webpage during the coming year and try to improve it.
I would like to thank the father who gave us the idea of keeping a Blog so that parents can see what their children are doing each day at the camp. Next year we will start blogging from the first day of camp, and make it a class activity so that the students can add their own input.