If you want to educate others, you yourself need to be educated. If you want to have any kind of influence on young people, you yourself need to stay young and continuously work on yourself.

 

Simon Gfeller, Swiss teacher and author (1868 - 1943)

Event

Title: English Week 2017
Start date: 12.11.2017
End date:  - 17.11.2017
Location: Haus Altenberg, Odenthal-Altenberg, Cologne / Leverkusen, Germany
Description: 

For more information write to: Doris Schlott, englishweek(at)t-online.de

Information & Registration

 

To the English Teachers at the European Rudolf Steiner Schools / Waldorf Schools

 

Dear Colleagues,


Summer seems to have finally arrived, which means that the time has come to invite you to the English Week from Sunday, November 12th– Friday, November 17th, 2017

 

in beautiful, historic and now fully (!) renovated Haus Altenberg.

 

For those of you who are notfamiliar with the concept of the English Week, here is a brief description of what you can expect:

The concept of the English Week is based on our conviction that intensive artistic work with actors, directors, story-tellers, poets and clowns, can be of immeasurable benefit for foreign language teachers. Thus, we view the daily three-hour artistic workshops as the keystone of the entire English Week.

 

In addition, there are morning lectures based on the general conference theme and a wide variety of working groups addressing different methodological issues and questions, as well as a 'Teachers Sharing' offering an exchange of materials and ideas.

 

The evenings are full of the "Spirit of English" in the forms of songs, dances and artistic presentations.

 

Another aspect that has always been important to us is to encourage an open exchange with leading authorities in foreign language teaching outside of Waldorf circles. We are delighted this year to have Prof. Dr. Manfred Schewe from the University of Cork, Ireland, one of the world's leading authorities on using drama and drama techniques in foreign language teaching, joining us for our conference. Manfred's expertise also fits perfectly to our conference theme.

 

The theme of this year’s conference will be "The Spirit of Language in Body, Soul and Spirit"

 

One of the core principles underlying Waldorf Education is a recognition of the threefold nature of a human being existing simultaneously in the physical, soul and spiritual realms. When we examine a child's natural acquisition of her mother tongue/s, it becomes evident that this process occurs in and simultaneously forms the child’s body, soul and spirit. In considering all that a child learns in the first three years of life – standing, walking, language and thinking – Rudolf Steiner speaks of the confluence of the wisdom of higher spiritual forces with the unconscious will-forces of the child: “Working out of a wisdom that doesn’t exist within him, a child works on himself. This wisdom is more powerful and more encompassing than all later, conscious wisdom” It is from this understanding that we are called upon to address the developing child and youth and to support and enable them to realize their own individual possibilities in life.

 

An approach to foreign language teaching based on this view of the human being and language calls for corresponding goals and methods. Although these will be tied to the age of the pupils, they will at all stages be deeply rooted in the belief that learning a foreign language can be deeply transformative, leading to a richer, more encompassing and differentiated understanding of the world and of oneself. As Raimon Panikkar writes, “Language is the human way of being in the world, and the plurality of languages shows plainly that there is more than one way to be human." How can such goals be integrated into the daily practice of teaching English in Waldorf Schools?

 

What capabilities on the part of the teacher are called for to realize such aims and how can they be developed? How can we authentically convey to pupils, parents and colleagues that the potential meaning of foreign language learning goes far beyond pragmatic aims such as passing state exams?

The lectures and courses of the English Week 2017 will attempt to address these different questions. Parallel to this, it is also our deep-seated conviction that it is exactly the artistic workshops, which constitute the ‘heart’ of each English Week, which offer teachers unique chances to go substantially further in developing both the entire range of their perceptual capabilities, as well as a higher degree of self-awareness; all within a highly supportive environment full of warmth, humour and trust.

 

The entire English Week Team 2017 will naturally be a great help in enabling us to realize such goals and ideals. We are delighted to have Sarah Kane one of the leading Chekov drama specialists in Europe and the U.S.A., back with us. We are very happy that two very appreciated colleagues Catherine Bryden for theatre clowning and Paul Matthews, England's leading specialist for creative writing, will be present. Norman Skillen from South Africa, one of our co-founders, will also be able to join us. We’re delighted that Ivone Grene, one of Denmark’s most experienced and successful English language teachers, will be offering courses. Susan Wehner from Hamburg, Mario Radisic from Haan-Gruiten and Beate Langer from Stuttgart will all be giving courses again. Finally, we have been able to get Claus-Peter Röh, the co-leader of the Pedagogical Section in Dornach to speak to us about the conference theme. And naturally, Silvia Albert-Jahn (Mülheim), Christoph Jaffke (Stuttgart), Doris Schlott-Lüdicke (Frankfurt), Peter Lutzker (Stuttgart), Duncan Macintosh (Forest Row/GB), Robert McNeer (Ostuni, Italy), Martyn Rawson (Kiel and Hamburg), Ulrike Sievers (Hamburg), Alec Templeton (Basel), and Tessa Westlake (Bochum) will all be back.

 

We are extremely sorry that Anne Ayre, our long-standing Welsh music teacher from the Kings Langley Steiner School who patiently guided us into singing and filled our hearts with the British spirit of music, will not be able to join us this year. However, we are delighted to welcome Michael Rose, an experienced former class and music teacher from the York Steiner School. He has composed many songs for Waldorf class teachers, some of which are widely used in the English- speaking world. He now works in Waldorf teacher education.

 

We will offer an open space called ‘Teachers Sharing', designed to facilitate the exchange of teaching materials and ideas for all grade levels. This space is intended to enable teachers to directly offer and explain resource material and ideas they have developed. Thus, please bring copies to exhibit and share; examples of students’ work, and/or books/readers you wish to recommend - even the smallest contribution like a tongue twister or a poem that worked well in class is welcome.

 

We are very glad to be in the fully renovated facilities of Haus Altenberg. Whereas the rooms will be brand-new but functional, that beautiful old Gothic cathedral in the courtyard is still standing there and for those of you who don’t know it and the immediate area, it’s a wonderful place to spend what will certainly be an inspiring week.

 

The amount of places is limited, so we strongly suggest that you register soon. See you in Altenberg!

Peter Lutzker Silvia Albert-Jahn Doris Schlott-Lüdicke Martyn Rawson Christoph Jaffke

 

Information & Registration

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