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EAB Archive 2000-09-00 Scottish Study Weekend

Creative Learning At Dunblane!

The long-established Scottish Study Weekend took place in Dunblane at the end of September. Nearly 30 students took part. Dunblane is a small city dominated by one of the finest cathedrals in Scotland; and the venue for the weekend ensures that the cathedral is glimpsed through almost every window of Scottish Churches House. Tranquillity certainly, but also constant stimulation. The educational philosophy of Dunblane has always been that of becoming fluent in Esperanto by means of a range of lectures and other activities which would not disgrace a university summer school. The emphasis is upon the use of Esperanto and not primarily upon translation. In other words, the ethos is monoglot; the aim is learning by means of Esperanto.

This technique works more effectively for beginning and intermediate students than one would expect, although these groups are given a constant helping hand which ensures that they will not (hopefully!) drown in a sea of Esperanto! On this occasion there was a full gamut of lecture ranging from Universal Grammar, the Etruscan language, the history of the Classical Guitar, the Evolutionary Mechanisms of Esperanto, Computerisation of Musical Notation and the Art of Film-making, intertwined with language challenges, musical criticism, table talk grammar and vocabulary-building.

The Weekend included an idyllic visit to the island on the Lake of Menteith where Mary Queen of Scots sought refuge in the Priory. The facilities were good; the food was abundant; and the atmosphere was challenging in the most pleasant way. Dunblane has become an institution in the Esperanto scene; but it has never lost its variety and stimulation. Why not give it a try? Then escape to the wonders of the Western Highlands which are only a few kilometres away! Many thanks to Jean Bisset, the Organiser, on behalf of the Scottish Esperanto Association!

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