The School

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The School

Adult English Summer School in the Lake District

Joining a course here means you live in our large family home at Nab Cottage overlooking Rydal Lake. We use our converted barn, just next to the cottage, for classes and activities throughout the day and evening. There is a full and varied programme on each course and we ask everyone to agree to only communicate in English. Through sharing the living and learning space students quickly feel they belong to an international community.  Our students are all adults and come from all over the world. We take a maximum of 20 students in the school at any time with an average class size of 7.

Students learning English Language at Nab Cottage in nature on a summer course

Our Methods

Our teaching methods at Nab Cottage are based on co-operative and holistic models of learning.

Our methods are based on co-operative and holistic models of learning. We encourage everybody here to:

  • balance, body, mind and s1nab-082pirit
  • take risks
  • encourage creativity
  • nuture the environment
  • develop trust
  • use imagination
  • support each other
  • and to value each individual contribution.

This creates a strong foundation. We find then that everybody:

  • learns from each other
  • builds self-awareness and awareness of others
  • grows in confidence and self-esteem
  • and becomes an inspiration for others.

This then leads to:

  • effortless learning
  • effective communication
  • and spontaneous use of language.


Small group English Language study at Nab Cottage

The Classrooms

The 3 classrooms are all in the beautifully converted barn right next to Nab Cottage.

classroom05Facilities here include unlimited WIFI and extensive listening and reading libraries. Students can use the facilities here at any time including evenings and weekends.

The barn was built around 1800 and we have kept the thick stone walls and original features. The classrooms are colourful and comfortable, and quite unlike any other classroom you will have been in.

We ask everyone on our courses to speak only in English all the time they are on the course. This means that everyone can communicate together and everyone gets constant practice all day and every day. It also means that people on our courses begin thinking in English very quickly and then they can make lots of progress.

The classrooms are also used in the afternoons and evenings for many activities which students can choose to join. There are:

  • language workshops including listening skills, intensive speaking, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • creative workshops including art, singing, storytelling, dance, theatre and drumming
  • complementary health workshops including yoga, movement meditation, massage and yoga dance
  • and skills-based workshops including giving effective presentations, negotiating and conflict resolution.


‘’Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.”

 Confucius 450BC

You will soon feel part of this small community. Each day is rich in ideas, laughter, discussion, play, insight and experience. Everybody can just be themselves free from the stressful roles of day to day living. You will leave with a new passion for English and a deep connection with the people you shared your time with.

We have been influenced by many people including Rudolf Steiner, Montessori,  Krishnamurti, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ken Wilber, Paolo Freire, Osho, A.S. Neill and the evolution of Summerhill, George Lyward and Finchden Manor, Earl Stevick, Mario Rinvolucri, Mark Fletcher, Susan Norman and Jane Revell.

Over the last 30 years Nab Cottage has evolved into an international community where people come to experience themselves and each other in English.

We aim to help students be the most that they can be. Abraham Maslow calls this “self-actualization”.

Book an Adult English Course

Book now to secure your place on one of our English Holiday Courses in the Lake District