I was searching for how to teach English in Italy during the summer, and A.C.L.E. was offering exactly that! It seemed like a great opportunity to get TEFL certified, while also traveling, and in return experience a cultural exchange. I wanted to use the summer as a step toward a goal, to help me find work in the future during my studies in Italy.
Carla Rubeo is an artist living in Milan, Italy. She moved from Montreal, Canada in September 2018 to pursue her studies for a Master of Arts, and wanted to compliment her academic background by teaching English as a second language to children in Italy.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
A.C.L.E. trained me and other tutors with an intensive week-long training on their particular approach to teach English as a foreign language - through theatre and play. Following this week, we got divided into different camps throughout Italy, where we were introduced to our host families and camp director.
I was placed in Tuscany and Umbria, both week-long day-camps, living with families that were so generous and welcoming to have me part of their daily lives.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Come with an open heart and mind, and get a lot of rest - because Italian kids are full of energy! Coming from an Italian family, I was a bit familiar with the culture, and knowing basic Italian definitely helped! I think in order to understand the culture a little more, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the language and history a bit before coming!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
The camp goes from Monday to Friday, starts at 9 in the morning, and finishes at 5 in the afternoon. It's usual to come in a bit earlier in order to brief the day with the other tutors and camp director, also to prepare your lesson and activities for the day. Come fresh and well-rested, stay hydrated and don't forget to have fun because the kids are really perceptive to your energy!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I was really nervous the kids wouldn't be fully interested, in terms of being fully engaged in learning English because of my teaching. Luckily, I didn't experience this! The kids really enjoyed the program, and I found a way to personalize it, through ACLE's method with the songs and dances, I could tell they really enjoyed themselves.