This year's summer festival - the 45th since the tradition began - at Wedgwood Memorial College, Barlaston, was possibly one of the most varied. Apart from the language learners one person turned up from Scotland to spend a week holidaying in the region (joining course participants for meals and evening events) and another, from Ulster, undertook independent study in the Butler library.
This is precisely how the summer festival should work. People should be free either to take courses or do their own thing (holiday or private study) or possibly combine elements of both. Certainly next year's summer festival will offer even more flexibility (watch for announcements) and it is to be hoped more people will use the festival as a holiday base to explore the area.
Another feature of this year's summer festival was the arrival of ten teachers of Esperanto who took part in their own parallel seminar devoted to education (and especially to an ambitious scheme - Springboard to Languages - to introduce Esperanto into primary schools).
Learners appreciated the presence of good Esperanto-speakers who enriched the mealtime conversations. It is highly likely a similar seminar will take place at next year's summer festival (August 12-18, 2006) and, because of the ever-increasing options available, early booking is recommended.
Photo: The summer festival is not all about study and seminars - and Esperanto is practised not only in the classroom but also outside it. Here Norah Brown and Michael Sims improve their speaking (and drinking) skills in the Plume of Feathers, one of the two village pubs in Barlaston. Je via sano!
[Return to EAB news bulletins list]