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June 2024 - Year 26 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

Another Reason Why Pilgrims is the “World”

Stefania Ballotto is a teacher, teacher trainer, and a trainer of trainers and has been in the profession for over four decades. She lectures at the University of Udine, Italy where she is also an M.A thesis supervisor for students graduating in the teaching profession. She presents at conferences and delivers workshops and courses worldwide. Her main areas of interest are in teaching strategies in second language acquisitions mainly for young learners, implementing CLIL, introducing Global Skills to young learners, teaching English through the Five Minds for the Future and the theory of Multiple Intelligences.


Have you ever been blown away by an English Language course? If you’ve been to a Pilgrims you might have experienced what goes beyond a language course.

Not only does one develop a growth mindset, become a problem- solver, learn to think outside the box, learn to experiment, view mistakes as learning opportunities, develop  thinking- skills and naturally all in English. There is much more-

At Pilgrims we commute between languages, between cultures and therefore have different visions of life. A Chinese proverb quotes that a language is , “ one more window from which to look at the world”  This is Pilgrims- this is where we become citizens of the world thanks to the trainees, trainers and friends.

How I feel I have grown both professionally and personally is thanks to colleagues. trainees and all the people I came across from all over the world. What I learnt over decades at Pilgrims is priceless. How is this possible?

Beside the professional trainers, the added value is that Pilgrims trainers are from every corner of the world. Along with the proficient knowledge of the English language the culture of the continent or country they come from is shared among all the participants. 

Pilgrims offered afternoon and evening workshops that were both academic and cultural. Many a times experts would be invited to share their research or skills with us. An innumerable variety of cultural workshops which enriched the trainees, trainers and friends.

For years we had Noriko who would fly in from Tokyo. She would run an afternoon course on Haiga which is a combination of Haiku poems and visual images and ga is the Japanese word for painting. While painting, chatting and enjoying the company we learnt so much about the Japanese culture and how to interact with our trainees from Nippon, loosely translated as “the country of the rising sun”.

Interpreting dreams and meditation after a day’s training was bliss for the soul which was introducing cultures from faraway countries. It was food for thought – thinking about our well- being not only as teachers and trainers. Yoga sessions were most popular and relaxing as well. Brain -Gym was also a novelty. 

Walking in the English country- side, exploring the flora and understanding how valuable nature is, admiring the scenery was not only raising the awareness of how we need to safeguard it but also relaxing and developing social skills.

Dance Therapy is where we could communicate through movement and music and the bonding was simply sublime, because when you dance you can enjoy the luxury of being you without words but with all our para-linguistic features that sometimes we are unaware of.

Thanks to our creative, professional fellow colleagues, we thoroughly enjoyed the world of the Arts, writing nursery rhymes, shape poems, reading poetry, painting, doodling, singing and of course – movement.

Dramatizing Shakespeare with our outstanding drama trainer and actor was an eye-opener to the world of non-verbal communication, fun, and understanding how to “read” body language which differs among cultures. 

We had African Drumming sessions which brought in sounds from Africa, South African Zulu dancing and some facts about the country which is part of the British Commonwealth. This connected with the world of Englishes, some of the reasons why English is the Global language. 

The Scottish Evening was among the most popular workshops. Scottish history, singing in Scottish Gaelic sipping whiskey and eating short bread was a must!  Scottish dancing and singing bring all the cultures together and while enjoying the atmosphere there was so much learning going on, geography, culture, traditions and why not , also a touch of politics.

The Meaning of Tea was a journey around the world where tea is drunk, why it is still today a commodity on the Stock Exchange. It was a multi-sensory journey , smelling and tasting  a variety of Teas from tea-growing countries and not confusing the fact that tea is not called English tea because tea is grown in England! Tea and cake was always served during the workshop.

Another evening was the Chocolate tasting workshop where the art and process of chocolate making was shown while tasting different chocolate. A very sweet evening indeed accompanied the rich historical and geographical background to the world of the so- called comfort-food.

I could go on writing about the richness which over decades I was ever so lucky to have gained. This was just a taste and the answer to question why is Pilgrims the WORLD. 

This and much, much more contribute to make a Pilgrims course not only a language course but a unique experience of professional and personal growth – mainly because of the multi-cultural aspect which is a valid support in our everyday day life as educators, teachers and trainers. We have access to mediate and facilitate communicating with people from -The World. 

This was only a very brief summary of some of the evening workshops. The afternoon workshops were mainly academic and focussed on language teaching activities, teaching skills and strategies to support during teaching and were of the highest quality, latest methodologies  all backed up by pedagogy of language teaching. The latest research of the ELT world was shared by all the amazing team which would contribute both to afternoon and evening workshops, sharing their field of expertise and innovation in the field.


Please check the Pilgrims f2f courses at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Pilgrims online courses at Pilgrims website.

  • The Pilgrims Trainer: Charismatic Non-conformism!
    Till Gins, Lead Officer, Pilgrims

  • A Pilgrim’s Odyssey
    Robert Gillan, UK

  • The Humanistic Experience
    Sharka Dohnalova, Czechia

  • My Pilgrims Dream
    Marta Bujakowska, Poland

  • Another Reason Why Pilgrims is the “World”
    Stefania Ballotto, Italy and RSA

  • My Experience at Pilgrims – How It All Began
    Linda Yael, Argentina