Walnut Hill School for the Arts

English Language Learning Institute

Summer english language learning institute

Program Dates: July 19 - August 8, 2020
Ages: 12 - 15
Application Fee: $35.00
Boarding Tuition: $4,995.00

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The Summer English Language Learning Institute at Walnut Hill is an exciting, project based program that will hone students’ English skills in an immersive learning environment. Students will take classes focused specifically on reading, writing, speaking, and listening, culminating in a daily project that will showcase their knowledge and abilities acquired throughout the day. The projects will cover a wide range of possible topics, including but not limited to the arts, culture, and identity. Afternoon arts electives will be offered throughout the three-week program.


Erika Picciotto currently teaches ELL in the World Languages Department at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan, double-majoring in Asian Studies and Applied Linguistics, and earned an MA in TESOL from the SIT Graduate Institute. Erika has spent the past 12 years teaching ELL at independent schools, and for the last ten of those years, worked as the ESL Coordinator at the Summer Academy at Suffield. Prior to working in independent schools, she taught English, math, and science to middle school students in Walvis Bay, Namibia. In addition to teaching ELL, Erika also has over ten years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese.

Kelly Tempest teaches English in the Humanities Department and is the head of the Highland dormitory at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She has a BA in English and Economics from the University of Virginia and an MA in English from SUNY New Paltz. Kelly has more than ten years of experience teaching English at the high school and college levels. She started focusing on international students as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Morocco. Just prior to joining the faculty at Walnut Hill, she chaired the English department and taught at an international school in the Boston area for five years.



Each candidate for the Summer English Language Learning Institute must submit the online application and the following requirements:

  • DuoLingo English Test: DuoLingo is an online test and includes grammar and vocabulary exercises, a brief writing sample, and a short video interview. The test can be accessed 24 hours a day and Walnut Hill will receive the results from DuoLingo within two business days. To access the DuoLingo English test, please visit the DuoLingo website. There is a $49 fee associated with the assessment, paid directly to DuoLingo. 

Once you receive certified test results, you can log into your DuoLingo account, click on the “Send Results” button next to your test results, and select Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

  • Essay: Please write a one-two page essay which addresses the following two prompts.

1. Describe the role (or roles) that English plays in your life.
2. Explain a time when you used English in a way that you were proud of, and why it made you proud.

All required documents can be uploaded directly to your online account from the "My Account" home page under the "Student Documents" tab once your account is created and your application has been completed.