The end of the year rapidly approaches! and it is good to turn briefly the eyes to the past programme 2015 as it has been one of the most intensive and active programmes I have run in Active English Learning.
Also, it has been the programme that has realised at best one of the purposes of AEL: this is to facilitate the settlement of visiting students within the local community with its culture, traditions and overall its Human Resources.
I daresay that the AEL courses are very lucky as they take place in friendly, welcoming, peaceful local communities with an impressive amount of talented people all around!
We could therefore offer our students a large variety of activities, outstanding teams, high quality experiences thanks to the engagement of excellent teachers, professionals and artists, specialised craft-masters, enthusiastic leaders of outdoor activities.
Last summer between Holywood and Dartington our students were engaged with singing and Taiko, forging, pottery and glazing, with leather work, lino-printing, photography, gaelic games and “Dynamic Adventures” including high-ropes, zip-line and canoeing, with drama, archery, craft, circus skills, cookery and story-telling.
May I also recall the cultural events: the musical ”Grease”, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (although very unpleasant for the heavy rain…), the annual event at the “Ivy Bar” with Irish dances and music, the outing to Woodlands Leisure Park and to River Dart Country Park and the meaningful talks with Dr Stefan Harding from Schumacher College.
It is honestly unlikely to find a more intense and significant programme for teenagers!
I feel very proud of the participation and enthusiasm of our students! also of the fact that three AEL students got on so well with the British approach to studies that they applied to British Universities and colleges and were all admitted! (although one of them decided not to accept the opportunity).
The large majority of participants reported and showed a deep satisfaction and visible enjoyment.
It was the 18th edition of a teenager course and I feel that it was celebrated in a good way. Yes, 18 years of teenager courses!
The first time I came to England with 12 of my pupils was June 1998. We discover where Devon is and what is, for I never heard this name before! I reckon to be very ignorant in Geography… but learnt very well and quickly the magics and beauty of Devon!
The initial idea was to offer my pupils the opportunity to practice the language they studied at school and that seemed to be only on paper but not coming through their lips: a very frustrating impasse for students, teachers and parents!
My solution was: hands-on, meet people, visit places and find every possible opportunity to communicate!
Over a thousand students have since then come to the AEL courses; our programmes have immensely developed and become more focused on the needs of each age and individuals, but our vision is still valid as at the origins: learning by doing, learning with joy, learning from real life.
Now I aim to continue on the direction drawn during all those 18 years of teenager programmes and culminated with the 2015 summer school. So, you can expect a new wonderful programme in 2016 in terms of contents, human resources and enthusiasm for learning as well as for teaching!
The new programme will be new again and ready very soon! Keep tuned on AEL website, blog and on our social network pages, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube! so you grasp the launch offers that will come with the new programme 2016 !!! vr