Jesuit English language summer school

Summer school participants 2016 at Campion Hall
Summer school participants 2016 at Campion Hall

The annual month-long Jesuit English Language School started in Campion Hall last week. It runs from 23 July to 21 August. The language school has been going since around 1956 and started when Heythrop College was in Oxfordshire. Jesuits from outside of the British Province would come to the language school to improve their English in preparation for studies at Heythrop. The language school later moved from Heythrop to Southwell House and then on to Osterley before finally being run from Campion Hall.

This year eight Jesuits from eight different countries are taking part in the school.  Their home countries include Hungary, Madagascar, Venezuela and Vietnam. Every weekday morning they go to a private language school in the centre of Oxford. The students then return to Campion Hall for lunch and then have group and individual conversation tutorials with the Jesuits helping run the language school.

This year, Anuranjan Ekka SJ and Khac Ba Tran SJ work with the students in the tutorials and we prepare outings and talks for later in the week.

On Wednesday afternoons we go on tours of the local area and short trips outside the city. On Saturdays we go on longer trips to places such as Stratford-upon-Avon and London. We also plan a cultural programme for the group so that the students will see a Shakespeare play and a classical music concert in Oxford. The group listens to talks for example, on the history of the British Province by Alan Harrison SJ and on Ribadeneira’s thoughts on the governance of the Society of Jesus by Joseph Munitiz SJ. On weekdays during morning prayer we pray for the participants of General Congregation 36, this helps the students feel connected to what is happening in the international society. Those students who possess a more advanced level of English take time and share their grasp of the language with those less advanced.
We have been trying to manage the balance between set activities and free time, of working all together or in teams. It was wonderful to see that even in their free time, the students would get together and do activities in and around the city all the while still talking and improving their English.

Peter O'Sullivan SJ