Sybillianizm a Anglistyka

Międzynarodowa grupa lingwistów spotkała się w celu wymiany doświadczeń dotyczących metodyki nauczania języka angielskiego w otoczeniu uroczego krajobrazu Gór Izerskich napałających wszystkich do zapoznania się również z założeniami i ideami rządzącymi  Sybillianizmem.

Słuchali również przepięknej muzyki Antona Dworzaka. Mamy nadzieję, że również Bedricha Smetany a w szczególności pięknego utworu "Má vlast"

Izera Mountains in Czeck Republik

History of the Bedrichov



Bedřichov, Jizerské hory 14 - 20 August, 2005


The best of  ideas are often fairly simple: in April, when I learned about an international summer course for English teachers in the Jizerské hory based around the unifying theme of the Sudeten area, I immediately thought - How natural and logical!

Ultimately, the idea to bring together English teachers from Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic in order to explore the space shared by all the three nations in different phases of their history has proved to be almost ingenious.

The aim was to spend six days together in order to examine culture through learning about  place. And what´s more: to make links across cultures creating and recreating significant persons and events of the shared region.

The information leaflet invites teachers to a summer course on “intercultural communication through etnography, drama, literature and art“. And indeed, so it was.

Each of the four course facilitators dealt with the region from different aspects and techniques in their own right.


Anita Debska, British teacher trainer based at Toruń University, introduced a number of methods of educational drama. We improvised scenes, created letters, carried conversations, acted, mimed and performed whatever Anita asked us to do. We translated Goethe´s poem being inspired by Schubert and then looked into Bezruč´s poetry while listening to Dvořák. Somewhere in between there was place for Nohavica´s songs and Mickiewicz´s Pan Tadeusz. There was no end to Anita´s ideas: they culminated in building up a drama inspired by Elizabeth of Bohemia, the 17th century Winter Queen.


Danusia Goclawska from Radom brought a new angle to the examination of location and time, that of the US South and how it is manifested in American literature. We dealt with literary extracts, wrote short texts and were led on to look at place with fresh eyes - when one of our assignments was to describe a picture with landscape through a non-human object. Our group chose a tiny sea shell as a narrator.


Gladice Hughes, who teaches at Liberec Technical University, was responsible for introducing the local scene: we were lucky with the weather and could make a few wonderful hiking trips in the mountains as well as a day field trip to Český Dub and Světlá v Podještědí-cum adjoining villages to trace steps of Karolina Světlá. We also gained experience in creative writing. The methodology is as follows:

- think of a place important to you

- choose a word which expresses your feeling about the place

- talk in pairs about the place

- write four sentences about the place on four separate pieces of paper

- in pairs read out your sentences and exchange information about the place

- join another pair and create a story using two sentences from each person

- read your story aloud


Hanna Wrzesień from Jelenia Góra focused on recent history of the Polish side of the Karkonosze. It was fascinating to see the ways of naming and renaming the “regained territory“ after WW II when a board of linguists was set to polonize the area. Slavic names were restored where applicable or German names were kept having been translated verbatim into Polish.


Malgorzata Zdybiewska, the course organizer, used etnographic study tour principles during our trip to Liberec. In groups of three we were given a clearly defined task: to become observers of one aspect of the Liberec life (be it theatre, beer, shops, street signs or fruit to name just a few). Later in the evening we had great fun watching the group presentations, so creative and artistic! 

To sum up my intercultural experience: it can only be regretted that no more than two Czech participants have joined. They missed this rare chance of sharing, exchanging and learning in a truly international context thus making communication in English doubly meaningful.

Yet, there is your second chance, that of a follow-up next summer!


Michaela Čaňková

JŠ Hlavního města Prahy