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The main emphasis in class is on spoken English, although there is also some written work. Time is divided between study of the language (structure, vocabulary, pronunciation, stylistic differences etc.) and an exploration of English culture as expressed through literature, painting, architecture, theatre and music.

The works of important English poets, novelists, playwrights and short story writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are studied: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley , Keats, Hardy, Owen, Sassoon, the Brontës, Dickens, Katherine Mansfield, Daphne Du Maurier, Shaw, Wilde, Arthur Miller, Robert Bolt. Pupils are introduced to the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare. Painters studied include Blake, Constable, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. Pupils are introduced to the architectural masterpieces of Wren, Inigo Jones and Nash, as well as to the music of Purcell, Byrd, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten. Parallels are drawn with the other great European cultures.

Special attention is given to the needs and problems of the individual student. A test at the beginning of the course allows us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each pupil and to plan our teaching accordingly.

We accept pupils from eighteen upwards. Normally the level of our courses is intermediate, or just below Cambridge First Certificate. Sometimes we organize courses for beginners, as we do for more advanced pupils at a level just below Cambridge Proficiency. A part of our teaching is based on the syllabuses for these Cambridge exams. Some of our pupils go on to take the exams; in more than thirty years not one has failed.

At least one lesson during the course is spent on the subject of poverty and exploitation in Africa, Asia and Latin America, one of the most important issues of our time.

Slides and a film are shown.

English and Arts Courses - The Summer School at Charlieu:


Forty hours of English classes are offered on our ten-day course, an average of four a day. There are thirty hours of drama, making a total of seventy hours' tuition: the equivalent of a year and a quarter of English at most secondary schools.

Many of the lessons in language and culture are given by the founder and director of the English and arts courses, who was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, and has taught at a number of universities

See Drama.

English and Arts Courses

The European School of Arts and Languages at Oxford


English language and literature

Arts courses

Oxford and excursions

Accommodation and meals

The Summer School at Charlieu:

The ten-day course



Other activities


Enrolment form

The School on Tour