An innovative new course combining the expertise of two groups within the University of Winchester, English for Peace, is led by an experienced international team of English Language and Peace Studies practitioners. The collaboration between the Winchester Centre of Religions for Reconciliation and Peace and the English Language Teaching and Support Unit, capitalises on the experience and expertise of both, and utilises the networks, both local and international, of both.
By focusing on Peace through English, participants can improve both their knowledge of the topic and their language skills relating to it. Students can scaffold their own knowledge and experiences into their developing communicative competencies. In this way it does not matter whether you have a higher or lower level of language, or whether you have little to moderate levels of knowledge about the workings of peace making. All are welcome to join in active participation in our community of peace scholars learning, and sharing, through English.
About the Course:
The course mixes traditional classroom learning techniques with visits both from and to various organisations and individuals working in the broader field of peace. These are principally drawn from local networks and organisations, however, international visits will be engaged whenever possible.
The guest speakers provide a supported engagement with real and relevant issues of peace through English as a medium, however the speakers are not themselves language tutors, this supported engagement develops confidence in the learners’ engagement with peace issues in the language.
Similarly, during field work participants will be accompanied and supported by a tutor, but not explicitly led by one; this further supports their development and independence as learners and language users.
The subject matter throughout the course is focused on Peace, the materials have been specially developed and curated by the tutors to this end, and they include: academic papers; publications from both government and non-governmental organisations, (as well as some super-national UN etc.); articles from the press including local, national and international sources and range across various media including print; web; audio recordings; and video.
Students work on a portfolio that can be tailored to their own specific needs and interests; regular participation in discussions, debates and presentations supports the development of their spoken English while the encouraged reflective writing further strengthens both productive skills as well as metalinguistic and topic awareness, not to mention personal development.
During their stay in Winchester participants can choose either to stay in (self or fully catered) university accommodation or to live in a “home stay” with a local family offering further chances for language immersion and a taste of what it’s like to live in Britain.
Classes run morning through mid-afternoon, and while some field work may require longer days, and some guest speakers may only be available for evening slots; this still leaves participants time to explore Winchester and it’s environs, independently, in groups or in the company of host families.
The course can optionally be extended for a weekend visit to Belfast in Northern Ireland where we will visit organisations and learn about the workings of the peace process there, this is dependent on numbers.
This year the course will run from the 17th – 28th of August. Email ELTSU@winchester.ac.uk for more information and registration.