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February 2024 - Year 26 - Issue 1

ISSN 1755-9715

Pilgrims News: Pilgrims Summer 2024 in Segovia and 50th Anniversary of Pilgrims in 2024

About Pilgrims ethos

It's been a half century of perpetual pedagogical research and innovation, as Pilgrims developed a strong belief in the humanistic approach to language teaching, a concept which, itself has been subject to ceaseless refinements throughout the 50 years.

In a world where educational success is measured by exam results, Pilgrims’ pedagogical approach presents itself as the exception: it sees the challenge as endorsing the dual aspects of education: inspirational learning for the pupils and fulfilling teaching for the teacher.

Pilgrims' ethos on language education is the brainchild of Mario Rinvolucri, the joint founder of Pilgrims. He never followed a conventional path: his entire life has been spent challenging all stereotypes, liberating himself from the status quo to imagine a better form of education. His Cartesian-like stance to teaching is based on discarding all the knowledge he acquired concerning pedagogy from his first day at primary school to his last day at university: starting from this tabula rasa, he developed the Pilgrims approach to making language learning motivating and effective. What makes it unique is that it isn't a "method", it is a behaviour that induces a stress-free experience and convivial atmosphere in the classroom.


Teacher training

Pilgrims training sessions go well beyond methodology and teaching tips: they cover what is best described as “meta-inspiration”, in other words, inspire to inspire, inspire the teachers to inspire their pupils.

When challenged to explain what makes Pilgrims Teacher Training summer programmes such a singular experience for both trainers and trainees, Mario would point to the carefree community of trainers and teachers defined by a strong sense of purpose. The community plays a pivotal role in so far as Pilgrims trainers feed from each other to create an environment that empowers attendees to develop their own resolute teaching identity. You can find out more about our trainers here.

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The choice of Segovia as the Brexit driven new Canterbury has the merits of extending the definition of English as a world language: being immersed in a city infused with international English speaking makes perfect sense when learning to embrace the requirements of present day language acquisition.

Pilgrims is a lot more than abstract theories: the concept is practised concretely on the Summer Courses run by Pilgrims in Harrow school and Bradfield which attracts children and teenagers from all over the world for two-week residential programmes in the summer. The sheer excitement of the children who attend the courses and their amazing motivation to get involved in every learning activity is impressive: so much so, "learning from breakfast to bedtime" is truly Pilgrims in action.

The words “efficacy” and “effectiveness” are regularly contrasted: whereas efficacy is defined as the performance of an intervention under ideal and controlled circumstances, effectiveness refers to its performance under 'real-world' conditions. Pilgrims Teacher Training will continue to focus on “effectiveness” in its second half century.

You can find our new summer offer here. We really hope to welcome you there.


Where To Stay in Segovia in 2024


Special offer

Teachers who would like some of their pupils to experience a Pilgrims summer course for children and teenagers should guide them to  and let the team know at If 2 pupils book a summer course, the teacher who advised them will not be charged for his/her own teacher training course; what is more, if 3 pupils book a course, neither the accommodation nor the course will be charged.


Before the summer

Join us for the IATEFL International Conference |


Pilgrims will have a stand at IATEFL Brighton: it will be a great opportunity to talk about Pilgrims and what it represents in the world of language teaching. We can also make plans, exchange ideas and have chats at the venue or have a coffee in one of the cafés on the beach.

See you there …

Tagged  ELTnews 
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    Till Gins, Lead Officer, Pilgrims

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