Our History

The AEL project was established in Spring 2006 after a pilot project -designed for my own pupils in 1998, when I was class teacher in a Waldorf/Steiner school in Milan- came to its conclusion.

Two purposes have been at the core of Active English Learning from its beginning:

    • Educational
    • Charitable

The educational purpose was to provide my teenager pupils a full-immersion language experience in the country where English is the live means of communications.

A “hands-on” activity-based programme was designed to help participants learn through arts, crafts, games, excursions and social, cultural events as a complement to their studies at school.

English tuition were almost focused on the understanding of the daily experience and on the use of English for social relations and communications.

It became immediately clear that their experience abroad had a much deeper impact than the original purposes of learning some more English or having fun during the summer holiday.

There was the quality of “exploring” a new world, that I dare liken to Ulysses journey.

Our students’ enthusiasm and determination to improve English were delightful “side-effects” of our initial pilot project!

With their positive response the young learners showed the direction that AEL needed to develop, that I synthesised in the threefold motto:

learning by doing,
learning with joy,
learning from real life.

My first group of pupils visiting Dartmouth in 1998
Exploring river Dart 1998
Visiting Eden Project in 1999

Educational aims

We aim to help our student develop some significant qualities through short, intense programmes.

English class

Improving English & Communication Skills

Cognitive achievements are fundamental for a complete personal development, so we take care that each students achieves good learning outcomes

Circus skills

Boosting self-confidence

We care that any successful achievement may feed self-confidence

Learning through music

Encouraging Team work & Cooperative learning

Through activities and lessons our students work together and learn from teachers and from one another

Creative clay modelling

Nourishing Creativity

Our arts and crafts workshops fire individual creativity and imagination

Creative music

Rising social awareness & personal responsibility

Working and learning together sharpens social awareness and strengthens personal responsibility

Past Locations

AEL has been hosted in various locations. Each location provided a  great environment to the AEL students and deserves our gratitude. Here below a gallery of schools and places that hosted the AEL summer school.

SDSS location Dartington
South Devon Steiner School

Dartington, 1998-2015

The SDSS has been the school where the pilot project started in 1998. It hosted Ael until 2015 andwas an excellent cradle for the AEL development

holywood school copy 2
Holywood Steiner School

Holywood (Belfast), 2009-2016

Holywood Steiner school hosted a popular 3-week course from 2009 to 2016 with excellent cultural and social standards. Unique were the events at the Ivy with folk Irish dances & music

SDSS location Dartington
Plymouth College of Art

Plymouth, 2017-2018

A 3-week course at PCA offered a high quality programme called “Art & Language”. The level of art workshops and English tuition was outstanding!

Exeter Academy
Exeter Steiner Academy
Exeter, 2016-2018

The Exeter Steiner Academy has been a great location with good teachers and host-families. It had to be dismissed when the academy unfortunately had to closed down in 2018.

Exeter College
Exeter College

Exeter, 2018-2019

Exeter College was the attempt to offer teenagers over 16 an environment that could match their needs. The academic standard, activities and facilities were outstanding. 

Fenit - Sailing
Fenit (Republic of Ireland)


With the support of a local friend, a “St Brendan  Programme” was set up in Fenit, an Irish village nested in a spectacular area on the Atlantic Sea. Only one summer unfortunately.

AEL Manager

I am the founder and manager of the AEL project, committed to take care of the wellbeing of our young learners as well as their good language development.