Assisi, Italy

HS Kids: Actors, Sculptors, and Cooks (Age 7-16)

when 16 June 2019 - 6 September 2019
language English
duration 12 weeks
fee EUR 375

At HS Kids: Actors, Sculptors, and Cooks, students experience the English language first hand in an Italian country setting in a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in the hills outside Assisi, Italy. They make sculptures or do collage, act in comical plays, bake cakes and biscuits, create and write diaries with teachers trained in out rigorous Humanities Spring method. Children do research (in English!) on medieval castles and Roman forums, and Etruscan tombs, and then go and explore them and act as our tour-guides (each child must memorize a sentence or two about their chosen site). Student make the traditional Italian sambuco drink with flowers growing around Humanities Spring, design and make aprons and chairs , or create stencils inspired by natural objects they love and then paint the HS bookshelves. Each year, our projects are different, but students embrace life in the English language and by the end of the week, relax into English, and begin to feel at home in it. They learn the past tense by writing in their diaries each evening, time, by making and illustrating their daily schedules. Our method at HS is that of applied grammar; children learn sophisticated grammatical and syntactical concepts simply by living the English language alongside our trained HS staff.

Course leader

Professor Jane Oliensis.

Target group

Kids from 7 to 16 years old. Children are divided into age-appropriate groups.
HS Kids is both for children who are timid about speaking English and who have blocks and for students who have a good mastery of the language. Their English will greatly improve while they are at HS.
Our teacher-student ratio is 4:1; students get a lot of individual attention and therefore are able to improve and learn at their own pace. We challenge all our students, nudge them forwards, give them tasks which sometimes seem impossible to them at first but which gradually they are all able to perform. For example,we ask older students (or students whose English is already good) to memorize their corrected diary entries each night; we also work a good deal with these students on pronunciation and idiom. And better or older students are also given big parts in our plays (which are real plays, an excellent exercise in idiomatic conversation for everyone). They often grumble about it at first, but in they end they succeed and are as proud of themselves as we are of them.

Course aim

At Humanities Spring, we believe in applied grammar. That is, we think that the best way for a child between the ages of seven and sixteen to learn the past tense (really learn, so he or she will not forget it!) is to have to write a composition about what he or she did that day; or the best way to learn the imperative, is to have to ask someone to pass you the eggs or the chocolate or the milk in another language. Grammar in this way becomes a fragment of life, and a tool for living, rather than an abstraction, simply to be memorized. At HS Kids, students begin to relax and feel at home in English. Slowly, the language becomes a part of their experiences and a permanent part of their lives.

Fee info

EUR 375: Fee covers everything - theater, art and cooking (and this year music, too!) activities in English from morning until bedtime, room (in our beautiful turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in the hills outside of Assisi, right in the middle of the Subasio Regional Park) and meals (delicious Italian breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with American desserts, baked by the children)
EUR 35: Membership fee for Humanities Spring, a not-for-profit Italian cultural association with home-base in Assisi.
HS membership (required for all children) also includes our HSIA insurance policy.


Hs Kids offers both work-study and merit scholarships for older children who speak English perfectly and are interested in doing teaching internships at Humanities Spring.