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August 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 4

ISSN 1755-9715

Message from Chaz

Dear HLT Reader,

As everyone knows, the world has been in the grip of a truly horrendous pandemic for over six months now. Aside from the unspeakable human cost, the COVID outbreak has wreaked serious havoc across the board, taking the ELT industry by a storm. As a consequence, organizations have had to think and act quickly, and Pilgrims is no exception.

Over the last few weeks, a few important decisions were taken, so we have some exciting news which we are thrilled to share with you here.

First off, all our Teacher Development courses (outside our summer school) will now be held in Cambridge, where Pilgrims owns a school. The choice of the place is by no means coincidental, and it does carry in fact, an interesting symbolism. Cambridge is where the two Pilgrims founders, Mario Rinvolucri and James Dixey, first met and started thinking about Pilgrims. Cambridge is also the place where the late Paul Davis lived, (Paul was one of Pilgrims’ pillars for several decades). So, in a way, we feel this is like bringing things full circle. We really look forward to welcoming teachers to our plush, newly-refurbished schools in one of England’s most historic and beautiful towns.

We will continue to bring Pilgrims to your homes: in May we launched our online courses, on top of those, we will now offer our Virtual Workshops Series (VWS): two 90 minute sessions on a wide palette of exciting topics.  These sessions, taught by Pilgrims expert trainers, will be run synchronously (‘live’), to ensure there’s sufficient rapport with the group,  and to keep the work as interactive and dynamic as possible. Besides our VWS, we will also be offering One-on-One Live sessions for teachers wanting individual attention. (More information on these courses will be posted on our website soon).  

We are aware so many teachers can’t (or won’t) travel to the UK just yet. We would like to continue to serve the community by bringing our inspirational team of world-class trainers to your doorstep.  Introducing the Pilgrims Teacher Development Getaways: shorter courses (2,5 days) held in our own premises in the most beautiful cities across Europe( Edinburgh, Paris, Lyon, Segovia, Heidelberg), and beyond (Boston, MA) (The full programme for these courses will be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled!).

Lastly: we are proud to announce that we are launching a programme of scholarships to honor the memory of some influential past trainers, reflect upon their legacy, and acknowledge their tremendous contribution to Pilgrims and the whole ELT world. These trainers are: John Morgan, Bonnie Tsai, Paul Davis, and (Pilgrims’ past Principal) Jim Wright.

Details concerning the scholarship scheme will be announced soon in HLT.

Let’s remember that we’re all in this together, and that together we will pull out. Let’s accept that times are harsh, but let us all remain confident that we will weather this storm, and there will be better times ahead.

As we close this issue of  HLT  we received some sad news.  Sophie Rinvolucri, Mario's wife and companion of 60 years, died peacefully in her home. Sophie was a very gentle self-effacing woman, empathic and engaging, with a compassionate and caring soul for others. Shy and private, Sophie had the knack to put everyone at ease, and she would bend over backwards to help others. She was a kind of ‘guardian angel’ to Pilgrims trainers who were away from home and welcomed so many Pilgrims visitors to the Rinvolucris’ hospitable home. An accomplished poet, Sophie will be remembered as an exceptionally warm human being, and will be sorely missed by those who knew her.


Until the next issue


Chaz Pugliese

Director of Education,

Head of Teacher Training

Pilgrims, UK

Tagged  Pilgrims News