Angloville Offers A New Way To Teach English Abroad
By Callum McLaughlin
One of the biggest barriers someone traveling to a foreign country must face is the language difference. Even after studying up beforehand, speaking a different language in the real world can be confusing and difficult, especially if a person’s visit to that country is an extended stay and not just a vacation.
For native English speakers, a hostel network named Angloville seeks to remove that barrier entirely.
Though there are many companies that offer native English speakers the chance to teach English internationally, there are few that offer a curriculum quite so comprehensive, both for the English teacher and the student.
The basic concept of Angloville is the teaching of English through complete immersion, which is done by creating a little village of English speakers in countries where English is not the dominant language.
The volunteers who stay at the hostel are all native English speakers, and while they do spend about half their day teaching English in more traditional classroom settings just as much of it is spent having lunch with their students in English, and just generally socializing with them in a way that gives them a better understanding of the language.
One of a Kind Experience
Chris Mayoh, the Native Speaker Coordinator Manager at Angloville, sees Angloville as a one of a kind experience. “It would be incorrect to call it a ‘school’ – there are no books or ‘lessons’ as such. Instead, Angloville is a chance to improve confidence and fluency in spoken English.
In that sense, it is a far more realistic and practical way of using English – as it is used in the real world. Many of the conversations between participants and native English speaking volunteers help to build this confidence and fluency are about topics that are important and meaningful to those involved – about family, careers, dreams, and aspirations. Everybody involved bonds closely so each Angloville program is like its own little family; it is genuinely special.”
However, the closeness between Angloville’s volunteers and participants serves more than just an opportunity to find friends across cultures; it also serves an educational purpose.
“For local participants, it’s an opportunity to have several hours of conversation with native English speakers from across the globe, something that they may not have the opportunity to do so often in their professional or personal lives.
They are exposed to a variety of English accents from around the world, which allows participants’ scope to explore the richness of the English language from a variety of global perspectives.
This also acts as a great personal challenge for participants – being able to understand and speak with people with widely different accents and speech patterns is a hugely difficult thing to do, and they leave with an immense sense of pride in being able to master this.”
Traveling Around Europe
“English-speaking volunteers get the opportunity to travel around Europe. Visiting beautiful venues in scenic countryside surroundings is hugely appealing.
As a tourist or traveler, it can be very difficult to meet ‘real’ locals when moving around from place to place but with Angloville, volunteers get the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with people from a variety of backgrounds, each of whom shares their stories and experiences of their worlds.”
“Angloville has genuinely been one of the best experiences that I have had while traveling,” says Matt Nogajski, a volunteer who has worked with Angloville for three years. “I was looking for some interesting volunteering opportunities while I was in Poland and Angloville seemed like a good opportunity.
“It seemed like a good way to meet many like-minded native speaking people from countries all over the world, as well as interesting and smart local Polish people. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing different perspectives on life and traveling. Spending a whole week with as many as fifty new and interesting people sounded like an amazing time.”
In addition to the opportunity to meet and help teach new people, Angloville offered travel experiences that most foreign visitors would never be able to have. “One hotel is very close to a very old castle, and you have the chance to go and visit this castle as a group. It can be a nice change from spending all your time in crowded cities.”
Not only did Matt travel to more interesting, out of the way places, he also had a chance to bond with people in a way he never would have as an ordinary tourist. “Each year you see many participants come back to Angloville for another camp, and seeing the progress that they have made is extremely rewarding.
The sessions are based on communicating and speaking to each other, and also some fun activities in groups. It isn’t focused around teaching in the traditional sense of using books and completing exercises, but rather using English in a practical and fun way and raising the confidence level of participants. The friendships that you make are so unique and last far beyond the end of the camp.”
As spending time teaching English abroad has become much more of a common way for native English speakers to satiate their wanderlust, Angloville stands out as a unique and fulfilling way to teach in foreign countries without leaving your comfort zone.
Volunteers generally stay for about four to eight weeks, and spend their time teaching and socializing with locals, entirely in English. There are locations all across Eastern and Central Europe, including Romania, Poland, and Malta.
Though there are many ways for a native English speaker to teach and live abroad, few are so convenient as Angloville, and few offer quite so many big picture, cross-cultural lessons for both students and teachers.