At the School of Sharing

The idea behind an English language school in Ireland, inspired by values of the Economy of Communion, is the desire to put first the quality of the relationships between students and teachers and to share the profits with a project in Bolivia.

Green and friendly Ireland is full of excellent schools for students of all ages to learn English. Language Learning International (LLI) is no exception. Various kinds of study vacations are available with cutting edge learning techniques, family programs, culture, sport and entertainment, along with internships in France and Spain for Irish students. What distinguishes the educational approach of this school, which was founded in 1989 by Eugene Murphy in Dublin, is the quality of the relationships with the students in a welcoming atmosphere and a sensitive look towards the personal characteristics of each individual. But there is something else. The LLI, with its over 2 thousand students every year, is a representative of the Economy of Communion (EoC) in the training sector. The following experiences were drawn from the EoC website.

“A boy showed up at summer camp with Asperger Syndrome, which we didn’t know anything about until he arrived. The first lodgings were not very appropriate for him, because they weren’t able to meet the particular needs of the youngster. They tried moving him to another family, but the difficulties began again. Even though the summer is a very intense season, in the business we want to be sure to ensure just and serene treatment for anyone comes, so we looked for another alternative until we were able to find an elderly woman who was happy to host the boy, being very familiar herself with the syndrome that her grandson also suffered from. Everything turned out positive for everyone: The student was able to take full advantage of the experience and return home happy in the evening. And the person in charge of relations with the family declared that the presence of the boy in the program had filled the entire season with value!”

“Great atmosphere at the English course, in the classroom and excellent relationships established; one of the tests to be prepared, however, was an individual oral presentation. Suddenly a 15-year-old boy approached Eugene Murphy, the school’s founder and expert trainer. He told her that he would be unable to do it because of his stuttering. Eugene talked to other trainers and they decide to reassure the boy by doing the test privately. In the end, the teachers encouraged him to share the experience with others anyway, the young man agreed and, between his own emotion and the general emotion, the test concluded with a long applause from the class. It was then discovered that the boy had not spoken until the age of 7 and that performance in public turned out to be a sort of miracle that made him and his parents incredibly joyful”.

LLI Director, Cathy Young, tells about a new project that has involved the school in an adventure of openness with a geographic region that is quite far from Ireland: “We wanted to undertake a Economy of Communion project that focused on education. On the United World Association website, we learned of a fantastic project in Bolivia, called Fondazione Unisol, which offers support to several of the poorest families in Cochabamba. We made contact and have put together a project that will finance the purchase of new books and portable computers, furnish new desks and chairs for classrooms, and support the work of two teachers”. “This reciprocal exchange,” says Cathy, “is one of the most beautiful aspects of our collaboration, and it helps us to live better in our daily work environment.” At LLI the students have a live learning experience of the meaning of many words, but the first is sharing.

Chiara Favotti



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