We’ve now started recruiting for our newest collaboration. “English for Peace” is a multilevel language course focusing on peace making and peace studies as the topic and English language development as the medium of transmission. You don’t need to be an expert in peace studies but you might be, and we can incorporate students with English proficiencies from CFER B1+ up. We’re really excited to be offering this in collaboration with the Centre of Religions for Reconciliation and Peace. The course is taught and run by staff from both centres. We met just the other day to work out the details for the extension excursion (subject to numbers) 3 days in Northern Ireland to meet people on both sides, and those in-between and learn about their experiences of peace first hand. But, that is just the things most present in one’s mind to be excited about. That said here’s a brief outline of what we’re looking at.
We’re starting in Belfast, then visiting the peace centre at Corrymeela and on top of that trying to catch a bit of nature, culture and history.
With the (seemingly ever) growing prominence of English as a Lingua Franca more and more English is becoming the working language of diplomacy and international peace-making efforts. There is a certain advantage Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart“. This of course can be one of the reasons to use a 3rd language to resolve disputes between communities or individuals; and English as the most spoken second language globally is likely to be the vehicle for this. In a number of circumstances throughout history conflict has be resolved by addressing it in a common lingua franca but not necessarily the mother tongue of the affected communities.
In the course we’ll be covering a wide variety of skills, including ICT, Research, Presenting and (academic) Writing, Debating, Negotiating and more. Language skills wise we do put an emphasis on speaking over writing but we do encourage and support the writing side as well. We’ll be supporting participants as they confront and address peace in their lives both professional and personal, as well as in the world around them both locally and internationally. Additionally, we aim to foster scholarship and promote the participants becoming more self-directed and reflective learners through use of journals and blogging. Lastly we’ll look at a wide variety of contexts for peace not just limited to the personal interests and professional foci of the participants.
English for Peace could serve as an introduction and/or companion to the Master’s in Peace.
In developing English for Peace we’ve been combining the expertise and experience of two parts of the university ELTSU and CRRP and naturally discovered some interesting synergies in the process. Working so closely together has also provided a prompt for both groups to independently and as groups reflect on our own practices and procedures; further benefiting our students and partners even where they are not involved in English for Peace.