Desarrollo de los niveles avanzados.
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
The project is framed within the context of the Official School of Languages of Elche, a public institution dedicated to the teaching of foreign languages to students over the age of 14. We teach six languages: Valencian, German, French, Italian, English and Arabic, all of them up to B2 level, and also Valencian and English up to C2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference. The school is located in the campus of the University of Elche, a city with a strong footwear industry, and only 8 km from the sixth airport by passenger traffic in Spain, as ranked by Aena 2014. This airport receives a great number of tourists every year. Elche and its airport are also very close to the OHIM Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market of the European Union.
The mastery of foreign languages is an essential skill for people who wish to access the labour market, and we observe an increasing demand for advanced level courses. Language teaching at levels C1 and C2 is not easily available, perhaps because of the challenge it poses for teachers in terms of training and preparation. In the school of Elche we have taken up that challenge and this project aims to enhance the linguistic and methodological training of part of the teaching staff. Alongside classroom lessons we offer distance learning courses, “That's English”, which from the year 2015-16 will offer B2 level.
After having provided information about Erasmus + at a teaching staff meeting, and organizing an 8-hour workshop on the possibilities that this programme offers, four teachers have decided to undertake a project this year, in the hope that, in future years other colleagues will get involved. The four participants have met to organize the project and after conducting a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) decide to do mobilities to expand their knowledge of phonetics, contemporary English and new methodologies that aim to combine both classroom lessons and digital platforms in our teaching.
The objectives to be achieved are: increasing the provision of C level groups, raising the number of teachers willing to teach high levels, especially C levels; ensuring the successful introduction of B2 level distance learning, improving the teachers' language skills and relatively to the number of teachers involved in the project, reducing the dropout rate and improving the pass rate of our students in oral expression, which is currently of 65%.
The dissemination of results will be done through workshops for colleagues in our school and schools of our region on the key points of the knowledge and skills acquired in the mobilities; materials for these courses will be produced to be stored on a shared platform, so that all the department members may have access to them, as well as the English departments of other schools that currently teach C levels. In addition, we will use a section in the school's blog to divulge the results of the project, and will try to involve local and international media in this process of dissemination.
It is also expected that the contacts with other European colleagues established during the mobilities abroad and through eTwinning may consolidate, and thus help launch projects to exchange experiences, materials, teaching tips and strategies, etc. in the future.
We also hope that an increased offer in the number of C level groups (and B2 level in the distance learning courses) will provide our students (and hence, the population of Elche) with more opportunities to access the national and international labour markets, and can help to further the internationalization of the companies in Elche and its area. The impact on our students will be measured by monitoring the variations in the dropout rates and the improvement of the outcomes in oral production.
We believe that this is a small first step towards other projects in our school that will encourage other faculty members and students to participate in strengthening our ties with the European educational community and continue growing and improving our professional work.
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