The English-Speaking Union of the United States: Education. Scholarship. Understanding.

Study Abroad for Teachers - TLab

University of Oxford: The Story and Future of English (1-week course)


Have you ever dreamed of studying at Oxford?  Well, dream no longer!

This summer, you can spend a week living and studying "The Story and Future of English" at Worcester College, University of Oxford.  You'll attend classes taught by acclaimed Oxford professors in the same classrooms where England's legendary scholars and poets got their education.  You'll live on campus and dine right alongside Oxford students and faculty.  In your spare time, you'll explore the historic surroundings of this breathtaking university and its fascinating city. 


The Story and Future of English
July 15-21, 2018 (tentative)

Over its history English has been the medium of invasion, conquest, colonization, religion, power, and culture.  It has evolved, with new vocabulary and borrowing words from other languages it has encountered.  It is a story that takes us across time and geography, from 5th century Friesland to 21st century Singapore.

The many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) have developed to create the richly-varied language of today.  A language providing the words by which we describe the way we live, think, and through which we express ourselves.

This program, drawing on the expertise of scholars at the University of Oxford, will explore the fascinating story of the development of English, from its beginnings to the global influence it exerts today.

As a student for the week at Worcester College, partake in presentations, lectures, visits to the Oxford English Dictionary Archives at Oxford University Press and the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.  Speakers will be from the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford English Faculty.

 Summer 2017 Course Description 

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Application Details

  • Deadline to be announced
  • Application is non-competitive and accepted on a rolling basis
  • A deposit of $500 will be required with application
  • Balance will be due eight weeks prior to course
  • Course is limited to 30 participants

Featured Faculty (from summer 2017; check back soon for summer 2018 information)

  • Peter Gilliver - Lexicographer and Associate Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, and author of The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (2016).
  • Prof. Lynda Mugglestone - Fellow and Tutor in English Language and Literature, Professor of the History of English, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.  Prof. Mugglestone's teaching includes English language from Old English (1400 - present day).
  • Dr. Helen Appleton – Career Development Fellow, Balliol College, University of Oxford. Dr. Appleton's research focuses on pre- and post-conquest English literature
  • Dr. Sandie Byrne – Associate Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing. Teaching includes English Literature (1740-present), critical theory, and critical reading
  • David Grylls – Founding Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford, and Departmental tutor and book reviewer for the Sunday Times. His scholarly work has concentrated on the nineteenth century.
  • Prof. Simon Horobin – Professor of English Language and Literature; Tutorial Fellow, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. Research includes the history of the English language, especially in the Medieval period
  • Dr. Francis Leneghan – Associate Professor of Old English and Non-Tutorial Fellow, with a research focus on intersections between politics, religion, and literature in Anglo-Saxon England.
  • Brian McMahon – Scholar and researcher of Old Norse Literature, focusing on the figure of the itinerant storyteller in eddic and saga literature.
  • Dr. Lynn Robson – Supernumerary Fellow in English, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford. Research interests include early modern print culture.

Who should apply?

This travel-learning experience is perfect for anyone interested in travel, cultural exploration, lifelong learning, or just having a unique English experience.  It's also an excellent opportunity for English, history, and communications teachers of all experience levels (including pre-service and retired), and others who are eager to engage in study with world-class educators in a historic university.

Program Cost

To be announced

Program cost includes accommodation in Worcester College in a single room with an en-suite and half board (breakfast and dinner).  Program cost does not include travel, travel insurance, medical insurance, additional meals, or any other incidentals.  ESU Scholarships are not available for this program, but the ESU will supply letters of support for grant or scholarship applications.

Deposit of $500 is required with application.  Invoice for balance of program cost is sent ten weeks prior to course.  Full balance is due eight weeks prior to course.

Refund Policy

Deposit is non-refundable for accepted applications.  Full balance is due eight weeks prior to course.  This course is non-refundable, barring insufficient enrollment in the course, in which case deposit will be refunded in full.  If you are not able to attend the course due to emergency circumstances, you will be refunded minus an administration fee only if there is a waitlist applicant who will be able to attend the program in your place.

Professional Development Contact Hours and Credit

This course incorporates approximately 30 professional contact hours.  All participants who complete the course receive a certificate of attendance.

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