Teach English at Summer Camps in Italy

A.C.L.E.

About

A.C.L.E. (Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational) is a non-profit organisation accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education. A.C.L.E. promotes student-centred learning, and is the first association in Italy to use T.I.E. (Theatre in Education) to teach English, and to organise drama courses for teachers. A.C.L.E. was founded over 35 years ago, and continues to grow and develop successfully.

We are recruiting dependable, enthusiastic Native English speakers (or with a near native proficiency in English) to teach English in Camps throughout Italy - from the Dolomites to Sicily - on our accredited TEFL-TP study programme.

This is a unique opportunity to enhance your CV by learning how to teach through games, sports, drama & songs all taught at our orientation.

Website
www.acle.org
Headquarters

Via Roma 70
18038 Sanremo IM
Italy

Reviews

Default avatar
Chris
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are looking for a fun, challenging, exciting, and flexible work opportunity abroad, ACLE is a great option. Your summer starts with a week long orientation, which costs ~200 euro, but covers the training, lovely hotel accommodations, and food. Delicious Italian food. ACLE does a great job preparing you for camp, with a lot of practical exercises and hands on training from former tutors. After orientation you are sent to camps all over Italy, where you will work for 1 to 2 weeks at a time while you live with incredibly kind and welcoming Italian families, who make you delicious Italian food every night. The work is intense but fun, especially if you enjoy working with kids, working outdoors, and being active. The curriculum is very organized, and doesn't require a ton of lesson prep or previous education experience. Just a positive attitude and lots of positive energy.

What would you improve about this program?
If there was a way to receive a full TEFL cert rather than the TEFL-TP that would be cool
Default avatar
Amilia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the best experience of my life last summer with ACLE! As a preservice teacher here in Canada, I jumped at the opportunity to teach English to Italian children through play and theatre. I absolutely loved the teaching experience but the cultural experience I received throughout my time with ACLE was undeniably unforgettable. I stayed with two amazing Italian families who were very eager to host me as a tutor. I have since developed a very close relationship with one of those families in particular and look forward to seeing them again upon my next trip to Italy. Moreover, my experience at orientation was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I met many people from different parts of the world who have impacted my life in indescribable ways. It goes without saying at this point, but I would definitely recommend applying for ACLE! It exceeded all of my expectations and as soon as I met the orientation training staff, all of my fears melted away.

Anna-Lise
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First of all ACLE is the first company I’ve come across that provides face-to-face intensive training with experienced tutors, providing all that and orientation accommodation + board at a bargain €200. I paid twice as much as that for an online course that wasn’t half as informative or helpful in my TEFL teaching experience. During orientation you are provided with a huge manual full of resources and detailed lessons plans, you are trained how to use this book to the fullest and participate in example lessons and activities. This really helps your understanding of how the drama and play method works as well as how to deliver the lessons. The training is intensive; which is why it’s so great that they assign you a mentor, who is an experienced TEFL-TP practitioner and will identify and address any concerns you might have about your performance at camp in the following weeks. The course is challenging in that it can be a very new concept to people, that really pushes them out of their usual comfort zones, and you will need to keep learning and adapting whilst at camp. However, the staff really support you every step of the way and so will your new ACLE family!

I’m still using songs, games and activities I learnt from ACLE in my teaching job this year. In fact, it really gave me the confidence to take on the challenge of changing schools and going from only teaching pre-kindergarten last year, to teaching all grades in primary school this year.

One consideration is being able to live with host families and travel being limited to your camp destinations until you finish or you are on hold. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this programme for people who are just interested in travelling and think they can slack off at camp. I would however, recommend this programme to anyone who wants a real boost to an existing teaching career or wants to kickstart one in an exciting way (with some of the most delicious food in the world).

Also the mosquitos can be INSANE for anyone prone to getting bitten. I would have preferred natural repellents and tried many but honestly just get the DEET stuff and apply regularly. It was the only thing that worked for me.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, there’s not a lot that could be said to improve this program. Well there was one thing missing from all the free stationary and merchandise we got: a rubber/eraser.
Angelo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was with A.C.L.E for 4 weeks this past summer and I was impressed with how professional, receptive, and organized the company is! The training is comprehensive and adequately prepares you but also encourages to leave your comfort zone. In fact, many (if not all) of the participants learned a lot about themselves and left the orientation with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and friends.

For anyone interested in Italian culture, it is honestly the best program to experience it. Because tutors are hosted by Italian families, they get insight into the culture that would not be acquired by simply travelling. Also, the camps are all over Italy so the regional differences are also explored. Not to mention that it leaves you with friends to visit when you return to Italy!

Truly an incredible experience and if I could change anything from my experience, it would be to have stayed longer!

What would you improve about this program?
More regular follow-ups after camps rather than waiting for the summer to be over to receive feedback. That said, if ever issues were to happen/happened, A.C.L.E made itself approachable and it is receptive when people need help.
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Kirsteen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have had two great summers with ACLE and home to be back for a third this year! Acle work in a fantastic, fun and creative way to teach English. It’s a hugely rewarding job that doesn’t even really feel like work. The look on the kids faces at the end of camp when they receive their certificates and workbooks is so worth it. The moment they realise what they have achieved throughout the week or fortnight is a moment to treasure.
I will never forget the friends I made either, with tutors from all over the world, each with a different background but all with a love to teach English in a creative way. I can’t wait to get back to Italy for another summer and more ACLE fun. Join ACLE if you love meeting new people, love working with children and love to travel, but most of all have a fantastic and rewarding experience.
You won’t regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing, it’s great.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Anthony Savonarota

Anthony is currently a Communications major at university, and is specifically passionate about learning as much as possible regarding the fields of Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism.
Anthony Savonarota

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the ACLE program after first hearing about it from friends I made through a volunteer program I still currently work with. The organization, Peace by Peace, is a tri-campus anti-bullying advocacy organization where university students such as myself can apply and, if they pass the orientation, visit an Elementary School once a week for a period of 12 weeks to teach them issues on anti-bullying. Since the method of teaching invokes alot of openness and game play, I was confident that due to the similarity with ACLE's methods I would find the program fun and interesting to be a part of.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provider assisted me with a full week of orientation with the other tutors, a manual with all kinds of games/activities, plus the age specific lesson plan series for each group, as well as any classroom materials we have needed, depending on the kinds of activities suggested and/or requested by the camp director. We were given all the tools, yet what we needed to provide ourselves was how we were going to deliver them to the class. Every classroom of students is different, some can excel collectively in one aspect, and struggle with another. Or, the class can be made up of a very diverse student body regarding their competence levels. The important thing as a tutor is to recognize which of these it is, a conversely adapt a teaching plan that is best suitable. In addition to the classroom help received from my program provider, travel expenses between camps as well as host-family housing accommodation was also provided.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Really remember throughout the program that as a tutor you are representing the company and your lessons do need to be professionally planned and carried out, it is also important to realize that ACLE is not your average summer camp teaching program. Often the children may know more than they let on, but hold back because they are not confident that they can speak the language. Some of this stems from normal human insecurity regarding studying a language, however another aspect is possibly the fact that they have had language teachers who may have been quick to criticize, and thus they feel they will never be able to speak English well. Your job, by using the games, songs, and more provided by ACLE, is to change their self-perception. By the end of the week, often without even realizing it, they will learn a whole new array of English vocabulary, and a certificate after the final show performance as a visual reminder to them as well.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The day always starts off with a "warm up circle", all students are to make a circle, and each tutor either leads a song, or instructs a game, usually a mix occurs, however both types involve use of the English language, and get the kids energized for the day. For the rest of the morning each class goes with their respective tutor. They may continue games in class for a little, and then complete a lesson plan with worksheets to test their knowledge and assist them if they have any questions. After lunch it is usually camp choir and rehearsals, both of which are for the Friday night "Final Show", a series of performances by each classroom in-front of an audience of the parents (it is also where the students are given their certificates). There are afternoon activities, and a "cool down circle" to close the day. After camp, your host family can bring you home or to a place they choose. Most families eat dinner from 8:00-9:00 at night. Unless your camp is two weeks, you will travel on the trains every Saturday to your next host family. Once you've arrived, there is usually a meeting with all of the tutors and camp staff to plan out what they would like for the week, leaving Sunday completely off for a day of touring and/or relaxation.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Personally, I have not had much experience traveling, especially away from Canada (the longest I had ever been away prior to ACLE was three weeks). I overcame this anxiety by obviously following through with it, and I am very happy I did because I learned there is nothing to be afraid of. ACLE pairs you with people for traveling as much as they can, so when you have to leave to head back home (which I did alone), you feel completely fine because you are so used to it. I not only was able to book a one-night hostel, taxi for the airport, take trains, and return on a connect flight, but by the end wished I stayed longer.

Did you continue to travel after the program?

If you are doing this program and are considering traveling afterward, I would highly suggest it. Unfortunately I had work and other commitments awaiting me right when I was done with my 6 week adventure, however if I had the choice I would've definitely done some of my own traveling afterwards across Europe. Traveling from country to country in Europe is not that expensive, and furthermore, due to the high tourism rate there is almost always a place available, especially in this day and age considering the various traveling apps such as 'AirBnB' and 'CouchSurfing'. You might even be able to visit some of your newly made friends since ACLE often has tutors from all over the world, all working together in a beautiful country, to help teach kids.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Helen Graves

Job Title
Trainee Tutor Trainer
group photo

Helen has a background in musical theatre and T.I.E. She started as a tutor in 2010 and has worked full time for ACLE since 2013. She has had the chance to visit all 20 regions in Italy and has worked with students from the age of 2 to 86!

Helen works with both students and teachers during the year, and in the summer leads new trainer orientations and supports tutors during their summer with ACLE.

What is your favorite travel memory?

This is such a hard question. One of my favorite travel memories would have to be road tripping across four states in the USA. We did a lot -- hot air ballooning, staying in a safari tent, cycling along the beach in California. I did it with one of my best friends in the whole entire world who I met while working with ACLE at a camp.

In Italy, I would say my favorite travel memory is being able to go to natural hot springs in Ischia. This tiny volcanic island just off of Napoli, is a mini paradise. You can go to the beach and sit in the thermal waters with the waves coming in and the sun setting. It was truly magical.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

ACLE is definitely a learning curve, they nicely push you out of your comfort zone and the support you every step of the way. For me personally, it was growing as a teacher. Teaching with ACLE is just not teaching, it is how to make your classroom as dynamic as the world around us. How can you be more creative then last year, what new skills can you bring in, what can you improve on and honing skills I already had and developing new ones. Every year there are new challenges.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of the best stories is from someone who was studying to be a teacher at University. She asked the following year if she could do orientation again as she had learned more in one week of orientation then she had in her year at university. That was amazing to hear.

Also, I was once in a pizzeria in Rome in my work t-shirt and this man said, "ACLE! My daughter loves your camps, she has been every summer and is so excited to go back, she counts down the day every year when summer is getting close."

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

This is a tough one as I have done everything they offer, though I would love to go Finland with our Italian teachers. I would love to experience camp as a camper as I would love doing all the activities.

I would also be interested in doing orientation again as a tutor, we have spent so much time working on the program for orientation and it is such a fun but intense week. I would love to go through it again and make so many more new friends.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

ACLE is a family, we stand by our values (Respect, Collaboration, Integrity, Positive and Creative). We are a small company and it is nice to know everyone you work with. What makes ACLE unique is that when you arrive you find people from all walks of life and all different nationalities with the same goals, the same passions, and the same drive to make a difference.

The didactic team makes me proud! These are my tribe, my people. We are all talented individuals but together we are amazing. We truly get what we are doing. We share ideas, we share problems, and we support each other.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

ACLE is successful as it believes in what it does and the people who work for them. We support our tutors and we are supported by an amazing team.

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