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Active Literacy: Competence and Understanding, Internally Naturalized - from decoding to understanding.

ALCUINOver the last years, there has been a decline in the reading skills of upper secondaryschool students, which is recognised among partner countries. Seeing this as analarming change for the worse, the governments in Sweden, Italy and Lithuania havedecided to take steps against the students' inability and unwillingness to read advancedliterature. The overall objective of the project is to develop efficient methods for teachersto use in both mother-tongue and English upper secondary classes, general andvocational education, to extend and progress their reading practices, to make themcompetent and confident readers with lust to deal with advanced literature. By definingand developing new pedagogical methods, we want to give the teachers adequate toolsto promote students reading skills helping them transform reading into knowledge, i.e. tohelp them go from decoding to understanding .In order to develop the teachers'professionalism we will design new pedagogical methods by making use of thecollective resource of the partnership as a whole. Various enquiries and interviews willbe undertaken among students. Teachers will write reports on the work in progress andthe researchers at the universities will analyse the results, which will decide thedevelopment of new up-dated and effective pedagogical methods to be tested in theclass-room. This way a manifold methods designed by the partnership will be tested inconnection with a variety of literary texts and art forms, also ensuring the students'participation in the work in progress. During the work in progress a continuousinterchange between all teachers and students will take place on the project's website.A virtual classroom will be established for the communication in writing among students.The website serves the main purpose of dissemination as it works as a public forumaccessible for all persons interested in the project. In addition to the website, the projectwill be disseminated through local radio and TV broadcast, teachers' seminars, throughworkshops at all partner schools, libraries and teachers' training colleges, articles inprofessional journals and local papers. Evaluation of the project takes place on severallevels. Teachers and students document their self-assessments through journals andreading logs, to be reported to the coordinating partner who writes a joint summary,which will be published on the website. The whole project will result in a teachers' guide,ready to use in the classroom, translated into all partners mother tongue, a CD-ROM,offering the practitioner new perspectives on teaching, which will meet with to day'sdemands and this way ensuring sustainability.

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