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EDUGATE - Multilingual teaching in early childhood education and care
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

EDUGATE project stands for Multilingual teaching in early childhood education and care and will last 36 months, starting in September 2016.The project is aimed at improving ECEC teachers and educators’ competences for supporting pre-school education providers in adopting innovative pedagogical methodologies and in providing high-quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). EDUGATE will improve ECEC staff competences with particular reference to the teaching of a second language in the ECEC system.The project stems from the recognition of the lack of a pre-school service aimed at further exploiting the potential of children's learning by teaching them a second language while ECEC classrooms are becoming more and more multicultural and multilingual. Recently, the number of migrants and refugees' children in classrooms is increasing, due to the increased international mobility that European countries are facing. For these children it is essential to learn the language of their hosting country since the early age, to foster and facilitate their integration in the social, cultural and working life of the country where they now live. Nevertheless, even in those contexts that are less touched by the migration phenomena, it is extremely useful for children to learn English or another vehicular language that can be precious for them in their adult life for crossing linguistic and cultural barriers. In both cases, learning a second language for children can be a precious instrument for living in a gratifying manner in a multilingual, multicultural and open society.This idea is consistent with EU Policies regarding this subject such as the EU Council conclusions on the European strategy on multilingualism 2008, Eurydice publications and EU2020 targets regarding the reduction of early school leaving to below 10% and lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion.EDUGATE project partners have different experiences in teaching a second language from pre-school education and in dealing with multilingual classrooms, and reflect national contexts with very different approaches and levels of implementation of project topics. The partners are 7, representatives of the following countries: Italy (the applicant, Municipality of Piacenza and the University of Milano-Bicocca), Czech Republic (ZA ANGEL), Latvia (Riga Municipality), Poland (Krasne Municipality), Slovenia (FINI Institute) and Sweden (Univeristy of Goteborg).The activities foreseen are:– A research phase directly involving pre-school teachers/educators to collect their opinions and approach. This is aimed at having a more detailed overview of teaching methodologies and bilinguism in the ECEC systems in Europe – O : Training Contexts and Needs Map– A collection of 35 innovative best practices regarding the teaching of a second language in ECEC services in Europe - O2: Innovative Best Practices Collection– An educational programme and workplan for teaching a second language in ECEC systems. It will describe how the second language will be taught and used in daily activities and indicate topics, games and apps, music, books, films that can be used. It will be available for internal and external users. The aim is to design and evaluate activities where more than one language become assets in the learning process, facilitating linguistic and meta-linguistic awareness in children – O3: Educational programme and workplan– Didactic material resulting from the implementation of the educational programme and workplan that will be tested and finalised during 2 joint-staff training events and will improve the staff competences in teaching a second language in ECEC services for children – O4: Didactic material for ECEc teachers– A set of Guidelines for modifying and integrating the actual professional curricula addressed to teachers’ training – O5: Guidelines for the new ECEC professional curricula.The project results and outputs will be disseminated through 8 multiplier events organized at international and national level, reaching about 300 people including ECEC services, ECEC teachers and educators, students, local authorities, families and so on.EDUGATE will enhance the quality of ECEC system and will strengthen the profile of the teaching professions, improving children’s language skills.Children and families will benefit from trained and highly qualified staff, as well as from new methods that foster children's personal and social development and improve communication, cognitive and language skills, thus laying the foundation for children’s profitable long-life learning, especially for those coming from disadvantaged contexts. EDUGATE will influence vulnerable target groups, such as migrant children, in an even more positive way, enabling them to reach their potential and progress in their education path at the same level as non-migrants.

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