Language Course 2023

In Kew Gardens
English members and German guests who took part in the language course 2023 in Epping

This ‘language course’ was for members from Eppingen, who were staying in the UK as guests of members of the Epping association. Ten visitors, ranging in age from 18 to 80, took part in a week of ‘lessons’ in English and excursions to places of interest.

This was the first time that Epping had hosted the alternating language course since Covid disrupted everything.

The words ‘language course’ and ‘lessons’ are in inverted commas to indicate that this is principally a social event rather than a week of study. Nevertheless, the teaching sessions, which took place in the mornings, were designed to be both stimulating and informative, giving the participants an opportunity to speak English on a range of subjects. Activities and excursions – some of which complemented the discussions – were arranged for the afternoons and the weekend.

This year’s topics included the National Trust, the National Portrait Gallery, family trees, local government, and the Windrush generation. (The last of these refers to the post-war migration to the UK of British colonial subjects, particularly those from the Caribbean.) All the discussions took place in English, of course, and everyone was able to play an active part in these informal conversations, each led by one of the Epping association members.

The excursions included both London and places of interest in Essex.

In London: Spitalfields, including the German Lutheran Church; the National Portrait Gallery; Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market and the nearby Red Cross Garden; Kew Gardens. There was also a theatre trip to see ‘TINA – The Tina Turner Musical’.

In Essex: Parndon Mill in Harlow, with its craft studios; Layer Marney Tower near Colchester.

At Layer Marney visitors were given a personal guided tour by the current owner, who explained the history of this impressive Tudor palace and its founder Henry Marney, a close confidant of King Henry VIII.

On the final evening there was a farewell meal, followed by speeches and presentations, at the Theydon Oak pub at Coopersale, near Epping.

Thanks are due to the organisers, the course presenters, and everyone who hosted the visitors from Eppingen.