Language and cultural instruction is not just our profession. Our teaching method is founded on active, experiential learning in a non-traditional educational environment. Our French, Spanish and Italian courses, among other academic subjects, are designed to be both educational and fun, emphasizing student motivation and interaction, as well as a diversity of teaching methods and educational media.
Whether you learn Spanish or Italian, study art or architecture, or immerse yourself in French culture, you will benefit from top level academics, taught by talented and inspirational instructors, using an informal and engaging learning method.
The Abbey Road Experiential Learning Method© incorporates aspects of the communicative approach into its methodology while promoting language learning, use and interaction in real, non-simulated situations. We believe in hands-on language learning and therefore spend most of the time outside of the classroom where students converse with locals and participate in authentic, activity-based situations that not only enhance their Spanish, French, Italian and other language skills, but also encourage cultural immersion within the host community.
Our language courses emphasize active usage, interaction and immersion in the native speaking environment, using art, music, literature, film and other cultural references to inspire and reinforce language learning. Our instructors create a comfortable and fun language learning atmosphere. They focus on transforming passive knowledge of the language into active knowledge using creativity and innovation. Many students come to us with a solid understanding of the language and yet feel uncomfortable speaking or actually using the language to converse…we change that.
The Abbey Road Experiential Learning Method© has also been utilized in the development of our pre-college courses, covering a wide range of academic subjects. These courses will help you boost your college applications and better prepare you for your college years while giving you the experience of a lifetime.
These courses take place on-location, away from the traditional classroom, and use innovative teaching styles. In the Western Civilization program, students spend their class hours discussing Plato and Socrates at the Parthenon and walking in Julius Caesar’s footsteps in the Roman Forum.
Renaissance art is studied while standing in front of Botticelli’s Primavera in the Uffizi and beneath Giotto’s frescos in Santa Croce. All of our courses, from Art History to Contemporary Mixed Media, follow the same experiential learning model. Students learn in context, which helps to not only keep them engaged, but also allows them to better grasp the material through visual, verbal, and hands-on reinforcement.
Students studying and living in another cultural and linguistic environment have been shown to attain increased language proficiency, world-mindedness, independence, tolerance for ambiguity, self-esteem and empathy after a study abroad program.
Why sit in a classroom looking at images in a textbook when you could be with Abbey Road studying art and history in the Louvre?
Colleges and universities look highly upon students who have chosen to participate in an academic program abroad. By including an Abbey Road experience in your college application, you increase your chances of acceptance. You will also be able to supplement your future studies with the knowledge you have gained while studying with Abbey Road. Summer study abroad can be a life-changing educational experience for both high school and college students. It offers a unique opportunity to learn foreign languages and cultures, experience cultural and language immersion as well as homestay and residential life, discover new worldviews, challenge commonly held stereotypes and learn about the immense diversity of the world we live in.
The Abbey Road curricula are designed by curriculum experts from top American universities and high schools. These curricula are advanced enough to meet the prerequisites of introductory college level courses, yet they are adapted to high school standards and taught in an innovative and fun manner suitable for a summer study abroad program.
Study abroad programs for high school students and their impact on language learning by teenagers have become a subject of an academic study sponsored by Abbey Road. The study was conducted by three outstanding Abbey Road instructors, language education specialists from the University of Pittsburgh: Dr. Heather Allen, Dr. Veronica Dristas and Dr. Nicole Mills. A copy of the study can be viewed here.
“The potential advantages of a study abroad experience are many: students studying and living in another cultural and linguistic environment have been shown to attain increased language proficiency, world-mindedness, independence, tolerance for ambiguity, self-esteem and empathy after a study abroad program” (Identity and Second-language Learning, Miguel Mantero, ed., Chapter 10, “Cultural Learning Outcomes and Summer Study Abroad,” p. 189).
In his article titled “Experiential Learning in Higher Education: Linking Classroom and Community” Jeffrey A. Cantor argues that “… there is renewed academic interest in experiential learning” and that “the literature suggests that experiential learning is a necessary and vital component of formal instruction in colleges and universities.” (Published by the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) of the US Department of Education.).