Category Archives: Events and Competitions

Spend a day exploring languages at Christ Church

posted by Lynton Lees

Join us for our Modern Foreign Languages & Linguistics Study Day on Thursday 16th March 2017!

Are you in Year 11 or 12 with a keen interest in Modern Foreign Languages
Are you considering studying a Language and/or Linguistics at university? 
Or are you interested in studying a language alongside another subject (such as EnglishClassicsHistoryLaw or Philosophy)? 
Do you want to learn a new language at degree-level, such as CzechGermanGreekItalianPortuguese or Russian
Christ Church, one of the colleges of the University of Oxford, is hosting our first ever Modern Foreign Languages Study Day on Thursday 16th March 2017!
This event is open to all Y11 and Y12 students in UK state/maintained schools or sixth-form colleges who are interested in finding out more about what it’s like to study languages and/or linguistics at a top university. The day will include a dynamic and action-packed programme of taster lectures and workshops led by Oxford students and tutors, as well as helpful sessions on making a competitive application to a top university to study languages and linguistics. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit a beautiful Oxford college while finding out more about what a degree in languages and linguistics could have to offer you so don’t miss out!

This event is free of charge and lunch will be provided. This event is also open to any teachers interested in finding out more about applying for language courses at Oxbridge and other top universities. Accommodation on the night of Wednesday 15th March is available for attendees travelling long distances, and we are able to offer assistance with travel expenses to students who require it. For full details please see the information page here. Please share this information with any students or teachers you think would be interested in attending!

To book a place please complete our booking form here. Registration will close at noon on Thursday 9th March. We recommend you book early to avoid disappointment! For questions please contact Lynton Lees, our Access and Outreach Officer (Lynton.lees@chch.ox.ac.uk).

We look forward to welcoming you to college!

Creative Multilingualism

posted by Simon Kemp

Last Friday, Oxford University kicked off a four-year, multi-million pound programme of research, outreach and public events around the theme of Creative Multilingualism.

We’re looking at connections between the ability to speak or learn more than one language and creativity of all kinds. We’re convinced there are vast reserves of multi-language ability and language-related creativity even here among the British who so often see themselves as lacking the gift or enthusiasm for languages. As the project leaders themselves put it:

British society perceives itself as monoglot, but nothing could be further from the truth: many schools teach pupils with some 100 languages between them, and many workplaces are veritable hubs of multilingualism. Nationally, this is an under-valued resource, not only economically but also educationally and culturally. One aspect that is under-valued is the creative potential of a linguistic diversity that interacts productively with cultural diversity.

Even those of us who grow up using only one language are born with the capability of using more than one, and we never completely lose that talent. In fact we deploy it routinely in our day-to-day lives as we move between different linguistic contexts at home, at work or at school, and in leisure pursuits. This involves a continuous process of creative adaptation. When using our language skills, we draw all the time on an individual creative capability that may also inspire us to experiment with language in monolingual or multilingual language play or poetry.

Over the next four years, the online hub for the project will be here:

http://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/

Please do check it out to see what events are planned, what the research strands are exploring, and how you or your institution might like to get involved.

It’s also an information hub on language learning in the UK. You can, for instance, find out about current issues in school language qualifications (including work to address A-level grading concerns) here.

Or see a breakdown of the kinds of jobs that language graduates go into after university here.

Or head over here to discover a wealth of bite-sized language facts, including which breakfast cereal goes Knisper! Knasper! Knusper! in German, and why Finnish people pace around hot porridge like a cat.

As the research programme develops over the course of the next four years, the Creative Multilingualism website will grow and grow. Please do check back from time to time to discover what’s new.

Try out life as an Oxford student for a week this summer!

posted by Simon Kemp

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about a modern foreign language and its culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 of a state school, and have some free time in July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures. The French summer school runs from 2-7 July this year as does the Linguistics summer school.  Spanish and the Beginner Languages school both run from 16-21 July, while the German summer school is from 23-28 July.

Here are the details of the French week:

This UNIQ course is a chance to immerse yourself in the literature, theatre, poetry, film and linguistics of the French language.You will spend daily sessions at the Language Centre practising and improving your existing language skills, followed by fascinating lectures and seminars, and the chance to use the world famous Taylorian and Bodleian libraries for private study.

Our aim is to give you a taste of what it is really like to read French at Oxford, and to give you a sense of the unrivalled breadth of our course. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to hone your language skills and consolidate your knowledge of French grammar. You will also participate in classes introducing you to an exciting array of topics, ranging from Linguistics and 17th-century tragedy to French-language cinema and 19th-century poetry.

You will be expected to do some preparatory reading before the course so that you can make the most of the week you spend here: we’ve chosen Annie Ernaux’s 20th-century classic autobiographical text La place.  We will post a copy of the book to all successful participants in early June. Following a lecture that will explore some of the key themes and contexts surrounding Ernaux’s book, you will have the chance to test out (and flesh out) your ideas in a seminar. On the Friday, you will even experience an Oxford-style tutorial, in which you and three other students get to discuss your close reading of a poem with a specialist.

Student Experiences

“I really enjoyed the intimacy of the Alumni Dinner. Also, I enjoyed the morning grammar classes and the 17th Century French Theatre lecture as I was not expecting to enjoy it but really loved it!”

“The mentors were really friendly and easy to relate to, and the tutors were not as scary as I had thought they would be! It was a real adventure and one I wouldn’t hesitate to do again.”

You can find details of all the courses on offer here, along with information about how to sign up. The deadline for applications is January 24th, so you don’t have long to think about it, I’m afraid. We hope to see you in July!

Literature Masterclass at Oxford

Image result for taylor institute oxford

On Tuesday in Oxford, the French department opened its doors to sixth-formers from local state schools for a new kind of outreach event. With the new literature component in A-levels, many students are faced for the first time with the prospect of having to write short essays in French about famous French literary texts, from Moliere’s Tartuffe to Delphine de Vigan’s No et moi. Since teaching people how to analyse French literary texts is very much our thing, we thought we might be able to help out.

Over a hundred students from a dozen schools were invited, filling the Main Hall of our modern languages faculty. We started with a session on techniques of analysis, talking about words and imagery, perspective, tense and theatricality in the literary text, and attempting a little live analysis of a text. Then, after refreshments, we split into small groups for some close study of text that students are, or soon will be, studying in school, including L’Etranger, No et moi , Un secret and Un sac de billes. With lunch at an Oxford college as well, it was hopefully a useful introduction to literary study and an experience to remember.

We’re hoping to build on this with more online posts relating to A-level texts, of which last week’s look at Un sac de billes was the first. Further literary posts are on their way throughout the coming year.

 

 

 

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année

noel

posted by Simon Kemp

This blog is about to head off on its Christmas break, with just time for a 2016 round-up before we go.

photo [8485]

We started the year on a culinary theme with the delicious French tradition of galette des rois, and revisited the topic of food from time to time with a Belgian stew called Waterzooi, marmite from Geneva, some big, round bread, and the great oignon/ognon spelling controversy.

choix

Further language horrors were on view in French translation fails and tattoo fails, and we examined the French language from its ancient Frankish roots to the modern-day twittersphere.

livre-en-gros-caracteres-meursault-contre-enquete

We’ve also suggested some French novels you might like to try, including D’argile et de feu, Meursault: contre-enquête, and Eux sur la photo, and talked about the film Persepolis.

blog2

Along the way, we’ve also found time to explore a lively range of topics, such as French theatre in the time of Shakespeare, French kids’ books in the nineteenth century, the colourful life of Jean ‘Nicotine’ Nicot, and the curious tale of the Bodleian library’s fake book.

libe

The prospect of Brexit dominated much of the year, and we considered its impact on modern languages in universities. We also managed to find out what our students and your teachers have been up to recently. We launched our 2017 French Film competition, and the new Spanish flash fiction competition alongside it. And lastly, slipped in here and there, were a few posts about what you can do here at Oxford University, why you might want to, and how you can go about applying to come and study with us.

billes

We’ll be back on the first Wednesday in January with the first in a new series of posts answering a question about an A-level set text. We’ll start by asking why a memoir that doesn’t really seem to be about marbles (or, for that matter, bags) should have been given the title Un sac de billes.

French Film Competition (Now with added Spanish Flash Fiction Competition!)

gasoil

posted by Jenny Oliver and Jonathan Patterson

UPDATE: For details of the Oxford Spanish Department’s new ‘Flash Fiction’ competition, see below, after the French Film Competition.

The Department of French at Oxford University is looking for budding film enthusiasts in Years 7-11 and 12-13 to embrace the world of French cinema. To enter the competition, students in each age group are asked to re-write the ending of a film in no more than 1500 words.

You can work in English or French. No additional credit will be given for writing in French, but incorrect French grammatical expression will not be penalised: this is an exercise in creativity, rather than language!

The judges are looking for plausible yet imaginative new endings. There are no restrictions as to the form the entry might take: screen-play, play-script, prose, prose with illustrations. We’d also love to see filmed YouTube entries: feel free to experiment!

For 2017 we are inviting you to choose one film, either classic or contemporary, as per your age bracket:

Years 7-11:

Jean de Florette (1986, dir. Claude Berri) [PG]

OR

MicMacs à tire-larigot (2009, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet) [12A]
Years 12-13:

Paris nous appartient (1961, dir. Jacques Rivette)  [12]

OR

Microbe et Gasoil (2015, dir. Michel Gondry) [15]

 

To help you choose, here are the trailers.

For Jean de Florette:

For MicMacs:

For Microbe et Gasoil:

And, instead of a trailer, a scene from Paris nous appartient:

 

A first prize of £100 will be awarded to the winning student in each age group, with runner-up prizes of £25.

For further details about entering the competition (including the points in each film where we’d like you to take up the story), see the FAQs below. Each essay should be accompanied by a cover sheet.

Essays and cover sheets should be submitted by email to french.essay@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk by noon on 31st March 2017.

 

And now, a message from the Oxford Spanish department:

Spanish Flash Fiction Competition: NEW!!

Did you know that the shortest story in Spanish is only seven words long? Here it is: ‘Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí’ (Augusto Monterroso, “El dinosaurio”).

Write a story in Spanish of not more than 100 words, and send it to schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk by noon on Friday 31st March 2017 with your name, age and year group, and the name and address of your school.

A first prize of £100 will be awarded to the winning entry in each category (Years 7-11 and 12-13), with runner-up prizes of £25. The judges will be looking for creativity and imagination as well as good Spanish! The winning entries will be published on our website.

 

 

 

FAQS:

  1. What counts as ‘the ending’ of the film?

We’d like you to start your re-writing from the following points:

Paris nous appartient: from 1:52:55, when Philip asks Terry, ‘Pourquoi lui as-tu dit de venir?’

Jean de Florette: from 1:38:34, where Ugolin confronts Jean and says: ‘Monsieur Jean, il faut que je vous parle franchement…’

Micmacs from 1:16:44, when the message is relayed: ‘On lance!’, ‘On lance!,’ ‘On lance!’

Microbe et Gasoil from 1:29:23, when Microbe says ‘C’est possible de changer l’aller-retour contre deux allers, s’il vous plaît?’

  1. Does ‘re-writing’ mean I have to change everything?

There is nothing stopping you from watching the ‘real’ ending and then modifying it as you see fit. Indeed, you might find this helpful. Please note, though, that we’re looking for creative, entertaining and inventive new endings, which address as fully and plausibly as possible the strands of the story that are left unresolved at the end-points we’ve specified above.

  1. What form should the essay take?

There is no particular expectation as to how you submit your entry — you might like, for example, to submit it in screenplay format (with descriptions of camera angle, voice-over, lighting etc.), or as a play (with speech-prefixes and dialogue) or in prose, as in a novel. You might even like to submit your ‘new’ ending via YouTube or other social media! If so, email us the link with your attached coversheet. The form should be the one you feel shows your creativity in the best light.

  1. Where can I or my school/college get hold of the films?

The DVDs are readily and affordably available via Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk or http://www.amazon.fr). 

  1. Is there a limit to the amount of entries any one school can make?

Yes. There is a limit of 15 entries per school per age group.

  1. Should I enter as an individual or can I enter as part of a group?

We would ask you to keep to individually-named submissions, please: this is just to ensure as much as possible parity and fairness between entries, and to avoid any distinction between smaller and larger groups.

 

Top Teachers

OUITA

posted by Simon Kemp

A nice tradition in Oxford is our Inspirational Teacher Award, where current first-year Oxford undergraduates are asked to nominate teachers or careers advisers who inspired them to apply to Oxford, fostered their passion for a particular subject or supported them through the application process. The students asked to nominate teachers are all from UK state schools or colleges with a limited history and tradition of sending students to Oxford.

fis

This year, one of my own students at Somerville, Fis Noibi, who’s studying French and Arabic, nominated the head of sixth form at her old school, and he was selected as one of the winners.

Mr Course, from Robert Clack School in Dagenham, was named as one of 10 inspirational state school teachers from across Britain. In an interview with the Barking and Dagenham Post, Fis said Mr Course is ‘more than deserving of the award because, if not for him, I would not be doing my current course, let alone in this university. Mr Course is such an inspiration’

The winning teachers were honoured at an awards ceremony at St Peter’s College.  The award scheme, which was established six years ago, recognises the crucial role teachers and careers advisers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. Here are the teachers and students, with Fis and Mr Course four minutes in:

 

 

Film Competition Results

Bande_de_filles_photo-Estelle-Hanania-©-Lilies-Films

posted by Kate Rees

2016 marks the fifth year of Oxford University’s French film competition, in which school pupils are invited to watch a selected French film, and write an essay or script re-imagining the ending. As last year, the competition was open to students across secondary school year groups, with a large number of entrants from pupils in years 7 and 8. We received almost 200 entries, from over 50 schools.

 

The judges were deeply impressed by the range and richness of responses to the two set films, both directed by Céline Sciamma: Tomboy (years 7-11) and Bande de filles (years 12-13). The winner in the younger age category was Sophie Benbelaid, who came up with a startling and creative interpretation as to the young Laure’s decision to act as a boy. (An extract from Sophie’s entry is below.) Runners-up in this category were Nano Quirke-Bakradze and Nikolas Thatte. Kate Lopez Woodward and Bridgette Dancel were highly commended; six more students received commendations (Roxy Francombe, Jamie Sims, Rose Tingey, Rachel Dick, Megan Bradley, Neave Reilly).

 

When judging the older age category, we were so taken with the overall standard of the entries that we decided to offer prizes to joint winners. Read an extract from Gurdip Ahluwalia’s imaginative French-language script here. George Jeffreys wrote and directed a filmed ending to Bande de filles, reflecting the tensions and energy of Sciamma’s own cinematography. In this category, Amy Jorgensen and Jack Butler received high commendations; four more pupils received commendations (Elena Albot, Clare Borradaile, Lucy Morgan and Isabelle Smith).   

 

Rewritings of the end of Tomboy offered a rich tonal and emotional range, from the gentle and tender to the sudden and shocking. Laure was often seen as disturbed by uncertainty of her expression of her gender, running away and contemplating suicide; her mother too was often seen as angry and confused, and the mother’s pregnancy was seen to end traumatically in a number of entries. Other entries attempted to envisage a future for Laure in which she opted for gender realignment surgery. The strongest entries were those which captured something of the quiet intimacy of family life seen in Sciamma’s film, along with the childlike vision of the young Laure; various entries explored the relationship between the sisters in attentive and authentic ways.

 

In the older age category, there were some exceptional re-imaginings of the ending of Bande de filles. Many were written in French, and a number, too, opted to present their entries as a film script, imagining appropriate visual close-ups and musical insertions. Marieme/Vic was variously imagined accepting Abou’s offer, selling drugs, and sometimes being tempted into other criminal acts such as bank robbery; others opted for a more positive ending which saw her returning to study or coaching girls’ sports teams. As was the case with Tomboy, those entries which focused attention on the family relationships or on the interaction between the girls in the ‘bande’ tended to be particularly successful, introducing moments of tension, intimacy and credible dialogue.
The Medieval & Modern Languages Faculty congratulates all participants and expresses its gratitude to their teachers for supporting their entries. Particular thanks are offered to Routes into Languages for their generous support of the competition.

THE WINNERS

George Jeffreys:

Gurdip Ahluwalia (extract):

SCENE 5

[A L’EXTERIEUR DE LA MAISON]

[MARIEME PREND QUELQUE CHOSE DE SA POCHE. LA CAMERA REVELE QU’ELLE TIENT A LA MAIN UN TEST DE GROSSESSE. LE TEST EST POSITIF. ELLE SOUPIRE ET ESSUIE LES LARMES DE SES YEUX]

SCENE 6

[ON REVIENT CHEZ ISMAEL. IL LIT LA LETTRE, CONFUS ET INQUIET. ON ENTEND LA VOIX DE MARIEME, QUI LIT LA LETTRE]

LA VOIX DE MARIEME : Ismaël, Je sais que je viens de dire que je t’épouserais, mais j’y ai pensé. Cette proximité à Djibril, la réputation d’être une putain. Ces deux problèmes signifient que je ne peux pas rester ici. Je risque d’être bloquée ici, sans avenir, sans possibilité. Je ne veux pas cette vie pour mes sœurs. J’ai vu la vie de ma mère. Elle travaille sans arrêt, elle n’a pas de motivation, elle, même, a peur de son propre fils. Si je reste ici avec toi ma vie sera la même. Et mes sœurs et moi, nous avons le droit de quelque chose de meilleur. Je veux faire quelque chose avec ma vie, je veux être quelqu’un, je veux montrer à mes sœurs qu’elles peuvent être les femmes qu’elles veulent être. Je ne peux pas t’épouser dans de telles circonstances. Peut-être si les choses étaient différentes. Mais elles ne le sont pas. Après tout, je ne peux que dire que je suis désolée. Je t’aimerai toujours, mais il faut que je fasse ce qui est meilleur pour les filles.  Marième

[ISMAEL RESPIRE DE PLUS EN PLUS PENIBLEMENT, DEVENANT EN COLERE. IL DECHIRE LA LETTRE, EN PLEURANT. IL JETTE LES MORCEAUX DANS LA POUBELLE. IL Y A UN VASE SUR LA TELE. IL LE PREND AVEC VIOLENCE. LE VASE S’ECRASE CONTRE LE MUR]

 

SCENE 7

[A L’EXTERIEUR]

[MARIEME MET LE TEST DE GROSSESSE DANS LA POUBELLE. ELLE SOULEVE MINI ET LE SAC-A-DOS. ELLE PREND LA MAIN DE BEBE. SON PORTABLE SONNE. ON VOIT QUE C’EST LADY. APRES AVOIR ATTENDU QUELQUE MOMENTS ELLE SOUPIRE. MARIEME MET LE PORTABLE DANS LA POUBELLE AUSSI]

MARIEME (SOURIANT TRISTEMENT AUX FILLES) : Allons-y. Une nouvelle vie nous attend

FIN

Sophie Benbelaid (extract):

TOMBOY

 

“Lève-toi, tu dois t’habiller,”

Laure a respiré. Elle a entendu sa mère ouvre les rideaux. Fatigué, elle a tourné lentement sur son dos et a ouvert ses yeux – un œil et puis l’autre.

“Vite,” sa mère a dit encore, “va t’habiller.” Avec des pas chancelants, la jeune fille marchait à son armoire. Les portes étaient fermées.

“Pas là,”

Laure a fait demi-tour en entendant ces mots, “Quoi?” Laure a demandé avec une tonalité d’être encore demi-dormant.

“Tu t’habilleras dans cette robe,” et un vêtement en bleu était lancé sur les couverts du lit.  La mère regardait sa fille très intensément pour sa réaction mais Laure restait tranquille; elle pensait au son rêve de la nuit avant. Elle s’est assise et a vu la robe qui était affalée sur son lit. Ses yeux se sont élargisses en choc.

“Non,” elle a murmuré, “Non, non, non!” Laure criait encore et encore et a couru à la porte où sa mère l’a empêché de s’évader. Elle a tenu sa fille au lit et elle y a mis.

“Arrête, Laure!” La mère a hurlé à sa tortillant fille. “Ça suffit, Laure! Arrête!”

Laure a senti les mains de sa mère sur ses épaules. Elle a arrêté de se bouger, mais elle s’est cachée son visage dans l’oreiller.

“Ça suffit, Laure,” sa mère a dit encore. Cependant, elle a eu une plus douce voix, cette fois. Elle est restée immergé dans son oreiller, mais elle écoutait. “Tu ne peux plus mentir à tes amis. Ce n’est pas juste pour eux.” Laure a commencé de se tortiller encore. “Ça m’est égal si tu veux t’habiller comme un garçon…” elle a caressé la tête de sa fille, “mais ils ont le droit de savoir la vérité.”

“Je n’irai n’importe où!” Laure a crié de façon agressive, “Tu ne peux pas me forcer,” elle a marmonné. “Je n’y irai,” La mère a soupiré, mais est restée près de la porte de la chambre. “Laisse-moi d’aller seule,” Laure a dit.

“Avec la robe?”

“Non, mais laisse-moi rendre visite à mes amis,” Sa mère a tiqué et a adopté un visage d’incrédulité. “Non,”

“Pourquoi?”

“Si tu iras avec la robe, tu peux aller. Mais si non…” le reste n’a pas besoin d’être dit à voix haute.

Sa mère a soupiré tristement. “Écoute, Laure, je sais que tu veux faire…”

“Je ne comprends pas que tu dis,”

“Oh, tu sais,” la mère a commencé de caresser sa fille encore, “mais tu ne veux pas l’accepter la vérité”. Laure n’a rien dit. “Laure, tu peux t’habiller comme lui, mais il ne reviendra jamais.”

Laure a fermé ses yeux et a pressé les serrés.

“Je ne veux pas parler au sujet de ça,”

“Et quand, alors?”

“Jamais,”

“Jamais? Ça c’est absolument ridicule. Est-ce que tu n’as pas écouté ce que la thérapeute a dit? À un moment, tu as besoin de parler au les choses qui-ce passent.”

“Oui, à un moment – pas en ce moment!”

Le silence que s’est ensuivi avait tant de tension que ni la fille ni la mère a bougé.

Petit à petit, les défenses de Laure se sont effondrées et, bientôt, Laure était en larmes. La mère a marché à sa fille et l’étreignit longtemps.

“Mon bébé, pleure,” Laure a fait de l’hyperventilation contre la poitrine de sa mère, qui a caressé sa fille dans un rythme stable pour la calmer. Même si ses yeux étaient fermés, Laure encore voyait l’accident devant elle.

Tenir Bon

Tenir bon

This is the front page of today’s edition ofthe Belgian Newspaper, Le Soir. Tenir bon means ‘stand firm’, ‘hold on’ (or, very nearly, ‘keep calm and carry on’).

If you’d like to read a Belgian view on the attacks, here is a link to Le Soir‘s front-page editorial column (which is probably too small to read in the image above), entitled ‘Brussels Attacks: This Is Not The End, It’s The Beginning’.

 

Thinking about a degree at Oxford? Why not try us out for a week this summer?

1170e

posted by Simon Kemp

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about a modern foreign language and its culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 of a state school, and have some free time in July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures. The French summer school runs from 2-8 July this year, the German summer school and the Beginner Languages school both run from 16-22 July, and  Spanish is 23-29 July.

Here are the details of the French week:

This UNIQ course is a chance to immerse yourself in the literature, theatre, poetry, film and linguistics of the French language.You will spend daily sessions at the Language Centre practising and improving your existing language skills, followed by fascinating lectures and seminars, and the chance to use the world famous Taylorian and Bodleian libraries for private study. 

Our aim is to give you a taste of what it is really like to read French at Oxford, and to give you a sense of the unrivalled breadth of our course. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to hone your language skills and consolidate your knowledge of French grammar. You will also participate in classes introducing you to an exciting array of topics, ranging from Linguistics and 17th-century tragedy to French-language cinema and 19th-century poetry.

You will be expected to do some preparatory reading before the course so that you can make the most of the week you spend here: we’ve chosen Annie Ernaux’s 20th-century classic autobiographical text La place.  We will post a copy of the book to all successful participants in early June. Following a lecture that will explore some of the key themes and contexts surrounding Ernaux’s book, you will have the chance to test out (and flesh out) your ideas in a seminar. On the Friday, you will even experience an Oxford-style tutorial, in which you and three other students get to discuss your close reading of a poem with a specialist.

Student Experiences

“I really enjoyed the intimacy of the Alumni Dinner. Also, I enjoyed the morning grammar classes and the 17th Century French Theatre lecture as I was not expecting to enjoy it but really loved it!”

“The mentors were really friendly and easy to relate to, and the tutors were not as scary as I had thought they would be! It was a real adventure and one I wouldn’t hesitate to do again.”

You can find details of all the courses on offer here, along with information about how to sign up. The deadline for applications is February 3rd, so you don’t have long to think about it, I’m afraid. We hope to see you in July!