Programmes: For Teachers


About Our Teachers Courses

Between 5th – 16th August we’ll run a great 12-day in-service course in Devon for TEACHERS led by our own Mark Andrews.

For more than 26 years teacher training courses have been held in Devon at SOL. It is a very important part of our work and something we always look forward to.  As with our student courses, if you come you will have a fully integrated experience of life in host families, work inside and outside the classroom, as well as time spent exploring Devon and the Atlantic coast.

Our English Language Teacher courses work on many different levels for you as teachers: language development, reflection on your own teaching, observing your own tutors’ teaching, deepening your knowledge of life in an English speaking country, experiencing the classroom from a student’s point of view (again), realising that the classroom need not be limited to its usual four walls and discovering many more practical activities you can use in your teaching.

We think that spending a part of the summer in a stress-free environment in Devon with the backdrop of the Atlantic ocean for relaxation and reflection is an excellent way of re-charging batteries and gathering strength, motivation and inspiration for the new school year.  Days will be full and it will be an immersion in language and culture, but you will leave refreshed all the same.

To share life in an English family home and see first-hand it’s cultural differences and variety. It is an excellent way of experiencing for yourselves and adapting to another culture. Our English Language Teacher courses include reflection on these experiences, which may well then feed into and influence the kind of activities you do in the classroom to prepare your learners for life, wherever they may go.

Our English Language Teacher courses have social evenings which can include skittles, pub quizzes and folk singing. We like you to get a flavour of what is currently happening in  Devon and the UK at the time you are with us. Exploring the local and national media and working on it from a classroom methodology perspective as well as for yourselves.

Although you make your own way to England, we can always advise you on travel.  We’ll meet you in London at around midday and take you to Devon with a stop at Salisbury en route.

Our trainers, are experienced in working with teachers from Central and Eastern Europe.  They are sensitive to your teaching circumstances, both in terms of economic remuneration and resource provision and are ready to respond to your needs and questions as courses evolve.

“ ELT through sights, sounds and stories: a real taste of Devon”   

          with tutors Mark Andrews and Fiona Mauchline

A provisional programme for 2018 can be found here.

Sol Teacher UK Course Programme 2018


Because our mission is to support teachers of English in their work and never make a profit out of them, we run these on a non-profit basis – just €760 for those without a grant.   It is definitely the lowest UK price by far!!    The course is eligible for Erasmus+ funding but the price is then unsubsidised at €1260.

Teacher Course Devon Form 2018

Click on the PDF below to read about one teacher’s positive experience

A Teacher’s Story

Observational Training Programmes for Teachers  ”

at SOL, Barnstaple, Devon          Summer – Autumn 2018

A unique new form of in-service training

       Aim of Programme

  • To offer teachers a chance to develop their own English language knowledge further through a total immersion in the language in a supportive and positive environment.
  • To observe how native speaker teachers and language students interact on a full English integrated language programme over one week or so and to discuss their observations with the SOL professionals in seminar sessions.
  • To give teachers an insight into the everyday life and culture of the people living in England through first-hand experiences, meeting a range of people and subsequent discussions of what they see/hear.
  • To capture real life experiences of language and related realia for use in their own teaching.
  • To observe how fieldwork and an emphasis on observation can help students to be more aware of the language around them and in the process increase interest in the English language.

Target group of teachers

  • Teachers who have not been to England before would benefit enormously as the experience of the culture and language for real gives added confidence and authenticity for the start of their teaching
  • ALL teachers, teaching at all language levels and/or age groups, will gain greatly from this type of immersion whilst free from the responsibility of having their own students with them. It will provide new and authentic contexts for them relating to life in Britain.
  • Teachers who don’t get much time to see other teachers teach but wish they could! Here they can both observe the interactions between teachers and students and then discuss them afterwards with the teachers.

Teachers who are interested in seeing how it is possible to make use of many resources for teaching which are outside of the four walls of the classroom

What is in a student programme?

  • Each course consists of classes (most but not all in the classroom) for half the day combined with a half day visit with a guide. Both visits and classes are integrated as well as the time students have in the family.
  • Home life, The Sea, the environment, charities, and volunteering all play a great part in our daily lives and will be amongst the topics considered as well as drawing comparisons between life in the UK and home.
  • Time in the host family is a very important part of the course. Here, the student, usually with a friend, is in a relaxed environment and where conversation is really valuable.
  • If a Sunday falls in a programme then this is a day when the student stays with the family. We do not prescribe what happens but every student has a different cultural experience and this gives plenty to discuss on the Monday!

       Techniques used

  • Our aim is to get the students talking as much as possible – and to overcome any shyness. So group work is very common but also students themselves can be the resource.
  • Fieldwork will play a very important part of the course – students’ own observations will be used throughout and this sharing of different experiences is a core part of the work.
  • A Journal forms an important part of the course – here they students are able to record what they have done and what they have learnt.
  • Recording of conversations, images, signs, activities will be encouraged and then shared

Activities planned

  • Visits may include ones to a charity shop, a fair trade shop, a lifeboat station, a surfing beach, a harbour port, a historical house or castle, a church or cathedral and a maritime museum.

On the final day students prepare questions on a topic they are interested in and then go into town to ask people about them, before preparing a presentation to give to the rest of the group about their findings.

A Typical 10 day SOL Programme

(Assuming arrival day is a Monday)









































Coach groups arrive at Dover about 08.00 and travel across England stopping at Salisbury en route (possibly Stonehenge) and arriving in North Devon at 18.30 to meet their host families.


Air groups may have arrived a day or so earlier and be in London. Others arrive on a morning flight at one of the London airports.  SOL coaches meet all groups and transfer them to North Devon as with the coach groups but arrival times may vary, but no later than 20.30


0845   Families bring students to SOL  for their introductions and first classes

1215   Lunch break

1245   Afternoon activities in town including a town tour and orientation

1730   Host families meet their students and return with them to their homes


0845   Morning classes

1215   Lunch

1245   Visit to Ilfracombe and Woolacombe beach

1730   To host families


0845   All day visit to Torbay

1730   To host families


0845   Morning classes

1215   Lunch

1245   Visit to Clovelly village

1730   To families


0845   All day visit to Exmoor, Lynton/Lynmouth and Dunster Castle

1730  To families


All day with host families


0845   Morning classes

1215   Lunch

1245   Visit to Appledore and Westward Ho!

1730   To families


0845   Classes and town challenge

1215   Lunch

1415   Preparation for presentations

1545   Presentations

1645   Evaluations and Certificates

1730   To host families


06.30   Departure

PRICES:         7 days/6nights: €295         9 days/8 nights: €340           10days/9 nights: €365


NOTES:   If two groups are in Barnstaple then some lessons will be in the afternoon and in summer this may happen in any case because of traffic delays on certain visits.  A group can be students from a single school and many of these come by their own coach – and these are what we call coach groups.   In the summer most groups are what we call ‘open’ groups and are made up of different numbers of students from different schools and countries who all fly into London where we meet them.   Courses can be anything from 7 to 10 days long.   8 day courses will start on a Sunday.


Your transport to and from Devon.  It is proposed that the participant will be able to travel with the group from London but the return would be by public transport after a final seminar to reflect on the course.


Short seminars will be arranged at agreed times during the course and it is proposed that a final one is held on the departure day prior to the participant returning to London.  Everything is open to negotiation to suit flights.

Teacher Observational Course Form 2018