Innovative Technologies for Active Language Class
Innovative Technologies for Active Language Class is a three-year ERASMUS+ strategic school partnership. It involves eight secondary schools from Czech Republic, France, Greece, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and Turkey. All the latter cater for pupils of diverse ethnic and cultural origins. Most of these learners come from underprivileged families with low opportunities for learning, travelling and selfeducating. They often lack motivation and ignore the importance of foreign languages in the labour market. Therefore, our partnership will primarily focus on these learners.
On the one hand, we first intend to enhance our learners’ motivation and investment in learning foreign languages and allow them to develop their oral communication competences. On the other hand, we want to offer them an opportunity to meet their European neighbours, discover European cultures in native place, put forward their own culture, broaden their cultural horizons, and thus, build their European citizenship.
To emplement our partnership and hit our objectives we have shared tasks amongst us according to each other’s experience and expertise. We agreed to compare our teaching methods, exchange our practices and combine our know-how. Besides, a five-day ICT workshop will be organized for teachers as early as October 2014. Three teachers from each partner organization. They will learn how to use a variety of ICT tools (eg Evernote, Blendspace) and two digital skills training approaches: the creation of digital stories (Storybird, Storyjumper). They will also learn how to use pictures, videos, flash animation, smart phones and tablets, implement a flipped classroom model and place and share all created materials on the project website. Moreover, four transnational project meetings will be organized. These meetings will offer teachers the possibility to observe classes abroad and be able to compare, and grant them the opportunity to give innovative classes themselves to local learners and get their feedbacks. Finally, they will practice foreign languages and get familiar with European cultural diversity.
As regards to our learners, we will first make preliminary assesments and rate pupils’ comfort/ability level on a number of skills. Based on the results we will purposefully create small groups that blend abilities and backgrounds, and incorporate team-building activities carefully adapted to their abilities and possibilities. Then, we will have them complete tasks that involve using and developing ICT and oral communication skills that they will likely use in their future professional life. Besides, we will incorporate learning activities around the use of new technologies to facilitate the group work processes. Moreover, we will choose assignment topics or tasks that are related to the real world, and can be connected to our learners’ lives. Finally, they will participate in three ten-day language camps which will be organized in three different partner countries. These meetings will put them in authentic communication situations amongst other European learners of their age, offer them extraordinary opportunities to develop team spirit and gain sense of responsibility, enlarge their culrural horizons, make new friends and foster tolerance.