ESOL Coordinator, David, and three ESOL Volunteers, Jackie, Jenny & Marysia, have recently returned from week in Florence representing The Welcoming’s ESOL programme and sharing experiences of using experiential teaching techniques with other European projects working with refugees and migrants. David has summed the week up as follows:

Well, that was an extraordinary week! It was a real honour to be invited to represent Creative Learning Programmes Ltd (CLP) on the Erasmus+ Remint Project. Three dedicated volunteer teachers (take a bow Jackie, Maryisa and Jenny) and myself all went to Florence to join organisations from Italy, Greece, Spain and Sweden to work on an educational toolkit, based on the Experiential Method to help educators from European countries deliver engaging new ways to help people learn the language of whichever new home they happen to be in.

Based in the lovely Piazza di Santo Spirio, Centro Machiavelli were the perfect hosts, laying on a lavish cornucopia of sandwiches, mini pizzas, big pizzas, croissants, biscotti, pastries to die for, all washed down with iced juice and a never-ending stream of fine Italian coffee! I salute Mario!

The work was just as delicious. We gleaned insights in to new teaching techniques which I hope to learn more about, adapt and introduce to The Welcoming in the near future. We learned about using film, gaming techniques, word association games, finding language connetions between different languages to aid, and perhaps speed-up, the process of dealing with officialdom. We also learned a lot about the problems (and ways to overcome them) facing Italian educators who are trying to help settle-in a great many African migrants. It really was a very inspiring week of training and reflecting.

Above all, we have made friends with many new organisations across Europe who care, like we do, about helping people find opportunities to live, work, and find their own personal contentment in their new home towns.

I’d like to name check all of our partners involved in this programme. Please visit their websites to find out what they do.


Centro Machiavelli (Italy)

In Altre Parole (Italy)

EELI (Greece)

Studieframjandet (Sweden)

Incoma (Spain)

Florence Teaching Sessions in Action

Firenze ESOL Programme