Hippo Homestays and other homestay programs

LEX Language Project Club (formerly known as Hippo Family Club) and other Homestay Programs

LEX Language Project Club, still more well known today as the Hippo Family Club, the fun and relaxed place where adults and children can be exposed to and to acquire foreign languages. It is a network of about 780 Clubs around the country.

Established by Yo Sakakibara, representative director of the Institute for Language Experience, Experiment and Exchange (LEX), in 1981, the club has about 29,000 members throughout the country. The club also has connections and activities overseas with clubs in the Korea, US, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan.

Sakakibara established an institution to study how people can pick up languages, inspired by his experience of observing children naturally speaking multiple languages at a park in Luxembourg more than 30 years ago. Just as babies become able to speak their native languages by listening to the adults around them, LEX members learn multiple languages by listening to original CDs repeatedly, without worrying about the meanings or precise pronunciations.

Although the club started with English, Spanish and Korean, they now cover 19 languages today.

Members—both children and adults—discuss what they hear on the CDs at their local family club meetings .They describe this practice as “singing the language.” Even if they don’t understand the meaning, they mimic the language anyway and pick up its rhythm. By repeating the practice, they gradually come to understand what is being said, piecing together fragments of meaning until they understand the whole thing.

Anther important element in their acquisition of languages is to attend club meetings and discuss what they have learned. Members are free to attend any club meetings besides their own regular weekly group. As all meetings are similar, anyone can join an unfamiliar group without difficulty. There are no teachers and no curriculum, only club facilitators.

Source: Picking up languages at the Hippo Club The Daily Yomiuri, Tuesday May 2, 2008


LEX has on sale its own Kanji Materials among their other publications at this page http://www.lexlrf.org/pub/jbooks.html.

LEX Japan Homestay info http://circle.cc.hokudai.ac.jp/huisa/images/temp2008/hippo_info.doc

Contact Hippo Family Club: Ms. Junko TAKAHASHI Email address: dajari-f@sky.plala.or.jp

Home page: http://www.lexhippo.gr.jp/

LEX US http://www.lexlrf.org/index.html

For more information on their transnational homestays in 25 countries see this page http://www.lexlrf.org/exchange/index.html; for Japanese homestays, see this page http://www.lexlrf.org/exchange/index.html  and also here www.lexhippo.gr.jp/; Hippo homestays in New Zealand: http://www.hippohomestay.com/page/high%20school%20students




FRIENDS MUSIC CAMP Website: http://www.friendsmusiccamp.org/

Friends Music Camp is a four week camp held in an old Quaker boarding school in Barnesville, Ohio. It starts in July and ends in very early August (The dates vary a bit from year to year).
Minimum age is 10.

Barnesville is about a half hour from Wheeling just over the border in West Virginia. The closest major airport is Pittsburgh, Pa. But Dayton, Ohio, is also an option.

Each camper chooses an instrument to focus on and 4 week campers get to choose two instruments. Beginner’s are also welcomed. All instruments are welcomed. Many of the teachers are able to teach several instruments. There’s brass, electric, strings, percussion and even banjo… Of course I did not see any shamisen or koto ! The chosen instruments get attention daily, but all campers must take music theory and also Chorus. They also get to choose a couple of other classes also, such as performance in a musical or contrandance, or voice. All meals are well rounded with many options for vegetarians. The boys and girls are in separate dormitories. And there are instructor performances, organized play, a couple of outings, etc.

About the website: At first it seems that the information is not all there, but then with a bit of digging, more and more comes to light.

The music camp is a product of the personality of an amazing woman, Peg Champney. There are many other people on the team, but I have the impression that the atmosphere created there for the kids can be traced back to her. It is a very nurturing and loving atmosphere. She gets the best out of everyone. They recruit amazing instructors from all over the USA.

Since the campers start at 10 years old, there is a lot of social stuff going on as well. Some kids get their first taste of romance, and some girls get their first period. You can imagine that to keep things pleasant and productive could even be a challenge in some instances. It turns out that many if not all of the kids go back summer after summer after summer, because they really love it there.

The basis is a Quaker one, “to encourage tenderness, loving concern, dynamic activity, laughter, respect, work, honesty, silence, and joyful noise”.

Says one reviewer: My daughter insists on going back for the full 4 weeks in 2008. This past summer she only went for 2 weeks (option for 10 and 11 year olds only). And though she missed me a lot during the second week, she also really wished she had signed up for the full 4 weeks. Yes, you can start with 2 weeks and then add the second two weeks if it seems like a good idea. However, with plane tickets and fixed flight dates, this may be hard to do.

Oh, and, your camper needs to pack a twin sheet set with one pillow case. Due to the larger number of people coming by plane now, they’ve even helped with picking up campers from Pittsburgh airport. Email me directly if you wish to ask a question.

Another reviewer says: For those of you interested in a summer camp in the States, FRIENDS MUSIC CAMP is a fantastic and wholesome music camp and not so expensive:



My son has gone for two years and it was very inspirational to him. He had guitar and vocal lessons both years. My niece went there for 5 years and then became a counselor.
It is amazing how much the kids learn in just a month, and they have a number of opportunities to perform. No prior experience with instruments required–just a desire to learn them, and/or to sing. The sense of purpose the kids have there is profound. — SP



I have been in touch with American Home Life International for ten years while living here in Japan and met the founder two or three times aswell as the Japan representative when I organized homestay orientationsat the schools at which I taught. In addition, I have had severalstudents go on one of their homestay programs at my recommendation. Allof them had good to excellent experiences, and I have also heard verypositive stories from whole groups of people who have gone. Thishomestay is open to anyone from junior high age (13 for girls, 14 forboys!) and older (adults of all ages are welcome). The purpose can be pleasure, education or a mix of both, and there are many options open ineach category.For pleasure, there are many things to do in Lancaster itself which is a tourist area due to the Amish population, Pennsylvania Dutch (German)cooking, and Hershey, Pennsylvania, famous for Hershey’s chocolate and aHershey Theme Park. Then there are periodically day or two-day trips toPhiladelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore or New York City and evensometimes Boston. If any students junior high or above (girls 13 is fine and boys shouldbe above 13!) including adults are interested, they can contact us atbronner@iname.com or contact American Home Life International directly or one of their Japanese representatives in Yokohama and Tokyo. See more at their website http://www.amhomelife.org is under construction right now, so it will soon have much more information, but it does have the Japan contacts listed as follows* Tokyo: Ms. Tomoko Shimo Mustard Seed OCC Bld. 2F Mustard Seed2-1 Kanda SurugadaiChiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0062 JAPAN


Phone: 3-3296-1006 Fax: 3-3296-1010 E-mail: Mustardseed@nifty.com* Yokohama: Mrs. Kazuko Nakamura Yokohama Club

84-18 Shikimidai, Asahi-ku Yokohama, 241 JAPAN

Phone/Fax: 45-366-2668 E-mail: nkazuko@d4.dion.ne.jpOsaka/Kyoto: Nobuhisa Ishida American Home Life International Sakurabashi Toyo Bldg. 4F2-16, 2-chome, Sonezakishinchi, Kita-ku, Osaka530-002 JAPAN

Phone: 06-6342-6500  Fax: 06-6342-6505E-mail: ishida@jtbgcw.co.jpI know Kazuko Nakamura, who is really a nice person and have communicated a couple times with Ms. Shimo who seems nice too. Anyway, I am excited about working for such a solid organization as American Home Life International. They are a Christian organization and make that clear in their programs, but they are careful to instruct families not to be pushy and to respect the various beliefs of those who come. If you have any questions either about our family or the homestay program, feel free to email me though I won’t know so much about the details of the homestay program yet. Email: bronner@iname.com


Farm homestays:


Summer and winter camps for students wishing to improve their English conversational skills.
Pyramid Farm offers students between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five an opportunity to stay on a working farm that is close to superb beaches and national forest parks in one of New Zealand’s most pristine scenic regions. The farm offers comfortable accommodation, all meals and four to five hours of English conversation with native speakers each day. One day each week we take a trip to visit many of the most scenic areas of the island’s West coast.

By prior arrangement, we can meet students at the Christchurch International Airport. Fees, which start at $395.00nz,per week are inclusive of accommodation, meals and tuition fees.
Contact Donald Levy at dkl23@xtra.co.nz


The able Tasman national park is one of New Zealand’s most popular areas for beaches, swimming , fishing, sailing, Dolphin and Whale watching.
The area is a safe place to enjoy some of the most scenic areas of the northern south island.
I offer you the chance of accompanying me on the Yacht NZ WEKA a 25ft trailer sailer from 1-2 weeks enjoying the beaches and walks around the National Park.
Your Adventure starts on the farm at Charleston where we spend two days together getting to know the Yacht and how she works. We then travel north by 4 wheel drive towing the yacht through the upper Buller Gorge toward Nelson , stopping at lake Rotowiti for an overnight on the lake . This overnight sailing upon the lake is optional depending on weather conditions.
Once we arrive in the Able Tasman national park we will launch NZ WEKA.
FROM 1-2 weeks , longer times can be arranged. This Adventure includes Accommodation aboard NZ WEKA, Food , English conversation courses, For Further information on sailing Adventure English courses email me. Fees start at $885.00 per week per student. Bookings essential


Homestays in Japan:

Kande’s Homestay Enjoy all the benefits of English Immersion (within Japan) at a fraction of the cost. Kande’s Homestay teams up with North Star Adventure Lodge in Norikura, to provide a unique Homestay opportunity for children (within Japan). Featuring and experiencing English in the context of an educational and environmental adventure. Utilizing proven adventure education techniques, your child will learn the English language in a way that will have lasting impressions.

The program:
* blends instructional times with outdoor activities
* presents etiquette lessons
* teaches image and body language
* teaches life skills for personal development
* mixes fluent English speakers with beginners
* lunch / breakfast / supper

Website: http://www.kandeshomestay.com/powerup1.html

2874-236 Nagasaka Cho, Minamiyama, Owariasahi-shi , Aichi Prefecture, 448-0821
Phone/fax 0561-51-0444; Phone/Fax .int (81) 561-51-0444 / Mobile 090-8557-2695
Email kandesan@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Hippo Homestays and other homestay programs”

    1. Hi my name is lisa turner and I am looking for one student to stay during this year. My number is 575-0479. Mobile 0223707675. I live in the glendowie school zone and have a semi-modern home.

      King Regards

      Lisa Turner

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