Formation Continue

The Continuing Education program organized by the English department was launched in 2013. Headed by Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère assisted by Marie Emilie Walz, it offers one-day courses in September around a chosen theme, approach, genre or author pertaining to Anglophone literatures, languages and cultures. As part of the UNIL/EPFL Formation Continue portfolio of training activities (, this short course is intended for adult learners and designed for the intellectual stimulation, pedagogical reflection and personal enrichment of teachers of English through lectures delivered by members of the English department and invited speakers, workshops and other activities. The course is supplemented by relevant material accessible to participants on Moodle. Boris Vejdovsky joined the team in 2018.

Capture d’écran 2019-10-29 à 15.39.19.png (Building a Culture of Readers)

Young Adult fiction encourages readers to discover or rediscover the wonders,
pleasures and challenges of reading with books that wield their special magic,
opening up fantasy worlds and teaching about life, self and the world, as well
as the power of words.
Like Jane poring over Bewick’s History of British Birds as a source of comfort in
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre or David reading the Arabian Nights ‘as if for life’
in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, many writers have stressed the role of
books read in childhood as a memorable and life-changing – sometimes even
life-giving – experience. In fact, many stories for children, young adults or a
crossover audience represent books as magical, spell-binding objects, and
words as a source of wonder: the word ‘grammar’ itself is etymologically
related to ‘grimoire’ or book of spells, and the ancient image of the world as a
book to be deciphered is still relevant today.
This Formation Continue programme focuses on texts and stories that
stimulate curiosity about language, reflection and imagination in young readers
so that they may experience reading as a source of delight, knowledge and
self-knowledge, critical thinking and creativity. This course will focus on ageold
fairy tales revisited and recent crossover classics (Narnia Chronicles, The
Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy).
It will also propose alternative texts and genres that bring a fresh approach to
the subject, such as the poetry of Laura Kasischke, short story collections,
graphic novels, and even Jane Austen’s juvenilia.
The course will alternate lectures, discussions and workshops in order to
introduce participants to a range of texts and approaches with a focus on the
benefits of close reading and the magic of books. Six scholars, including
renowned specialist of the field Professor Diane Purkiss from Oxford, will share
their favourite works and teaching strategies to re-enchant the reading
experience. They will propose ways to stimulate pupils and teachers’ interest in
building a culture of readers. The course material will be made available
beforehand on our Moodle site and participants are encouraged to share their
experience and pedagogical reflections on the role of books and literature for
growing up and coming of age in a complex and challenging world.



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