We have polished off the rust from our brains, the dust from our grammar books, and we are now into the literature, currently translating Euripides’ tragicomedy Alcestis, with plans to move on to Aristophanes’ comedy, The Frogs, highlighting an amusing literary contest between Aeschylus and Euripides. This group is suitable for ex A level and university students with a nostalgic desire to refresh their Greek for enjoyment, having pursued non classical careers. Passages are selected for preparation in advance, but those who have not done their homework can just listen in. This is not school so cribs are encouraged! We are all learning as we go, and difficult passages are freely discussed. If there is time, relevant background articles are read out in English. Newcomers are welcome to attend actively or listen passively for as long as it takes to refresh their memories.
Group Leader - Martin Ben-Nathan
French Advanced Grammar
This course is for those who studied French at school up to GCE or A-Level standard but have not used it since. Grammar is revisited and conversations are held in easy French to gain confidence in speaking the language when visiting France.
Group Leader - Marilyn Kozack
Our French conversation group, which used to meet in Pinner or Northwood is currently taking place on Zoom. We still meet fortnightly on a Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock and during this difficult time have got to know each other even better. Some members of the group have worked in French-speaking countries while others are keen to refresh the knowledge they have from school or to follow up on recent courses. Some members of the group like to prepare a short presentation about what they have been doing since the last meeting - or indeed on any other topic they wish - while others are happy to contribute on the spot. Often the short talk gives rise to questions or comments from others or triggers memories that lead to further contributions. Sometimes there is general chat about topical issues - like, for example, Covid or other issues in the news. We are a friendly group and welcome new members who would like to join us.
Group Leader - Rosemary Shepheard
French Conversation (Advanced)
This is a very informal group which meets fortnightly in Harrow on the Hill and has been described by a member as "coffee mornings, but in French". Members chat for just over an hour about anything and everything - the news, holidays, books, films, TV, etc and then take turns to read a French book.
Group Leader - Anne Connal
Teatime French is an afternoon conversation group held on alternate Mondays from 4pm to approximately 5.30. We have recently been meeting face to face and group members volunteer to host the sessions. It’s basically sharing news and tea with cake or biscuits in French. We sometimes discuss various topics of interest. You should be able to communicate reasonably well in French but nobody is expecting Académie Française level.
Group Leader - Helena Jugurnauth
German Conversation Advanced
This Group meets fortnightly on a Tuesday Morning in North Wembley and is for those who can speak fluent German but have become a little “rusty”. Text books are not used and the general conversation is on subjects or themes suggested by our students.
Group Leader – Rosemarie Lowenberg
The course aims to introduce the participants to the Italian culture, through language, literature, history and everyday life. We meet every fortnight on Tuesday afternoon via Zoom. The course is suitable for 'students' with a good knowledge of spoken and written Italian. The course is also suitable for people of Italian heritage wishing to refresh their knowledge of the Italian culture.
Group Leader - Maurizia Trowell
Latin literature is fascinating and can be quite raunchy! We have just translated selected passages from Suetonius. Lives of the Emperors, including Caligula and Nero, with a brief interlude for a charming little poem attributed to Vergil entitled Copa or the Syrian Dancing Girl. We will be moving on to more serious extracts from Lucretius On the Nature of Things, addressing the structure of the universe, in which he propounds the Atomic Theory taken from Epicurus. This group is suitable for ex A level and university students who have earned their living outside the classics and, however rusty, have a nostalgic desire to return to their Latin for enjoyment. Passages are selected for preparation in advance, but those who have not had time for their homework can listen in for continuity and pick up the theme next time, or whenever. This is not school, so cribs are encouraged! Difficult passages are freely discussed. If there is time, relevant background articles are read out in English. Newcomers are welcome to attend actively or passively, just listening in to the echoes of their student days for as long as it takes to refresh their memories.
Group Leader- Martin Ben-Nathan.
The Group meets fortnightly on Tuesdays at 10am in the Group Leader’s home in Pinner. After a short introduction to the day, members are invited to report either orally or in writing on any event or subject of their interest. Afterwards there will be a session on grammar and either reading and understanding from a text or by listening to a CD.
Group Leader - Maria Landau
The Group meets fortnightly on Tuesdays at 10am in the Group Leader’s home in Pinner. Members are invited to present an essay on a subject of their choice with an opportunity for discussion afterwards. There is regular reading and understanding of Portuguese literature (poetry and prose) using extracts from published works. Discussions on current affairs with a Portuguese interest and modern Portuguese history take place based mainly on articles in journals and magazines. Problems of grammar and syntax are addressed as they arise.
Group Leader - Maria Landau
This group is suitable for Spanish speakers who wish to maintain/expand their existing knowledge of the language and develop greater fluency in a friendly environment. Meetings usually fall into two halves. The first half consists of conversation; the second half comprises unprepared translation of instalments from Spanish short stories and current journalistic articles from Spanish newspapers. The group meets fortnightly, virtually via Zoom.
Group Leader - Roger Leon
This is a group with a maximum number of 8 members, all of whom should be familiar with basic topics, all the tenses and use of the subjunctive. Members are asked to research online to find a short article on a Spanish or Latin American topic which interests them. They send it to me in advance with an explanation in Spanish of why they have chosen the article which I correct and send out to everyone before the class. During the class, members read their chosen article, I comment on unusual vocabulary or some aspect of grammar and then I invite members to comment on or ask questions. Sometimes on request we also revise an aspect of grammar in more detail.
Group Leader - Anne-Marie Dennis
Intermediate Spanish Grammar (4th-Year)
We do a Crucigrama (crossword puzzle), and then translate sentences containing the vocabulary in the crossword, we study all aspects of grammar, and all members are encouraged to speak Spanish throughout the whole lesson - as do I!
Group Leader - Marilyn Kozack