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European Vocational Experience 2015
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This will be Language Alliance's 7th project which proposes 5 trips across 2 locations involving 2 intermediary partners and their staff, 53 hosting organisations, 15 accompanying persons and 60 participants aged 16-18 year who are on vocational pathways and are studying a parallel business language course. These students are required to undertake a 2 week work experience as part of their qualification. This project will enable participants to extend and enhance their experience by spending time abroad and therefore gaining valuable cultural knowledge and an appreciation of the value of linguistic skills in their particular field. Selected participants typically lack confidence, have low self-esteem, limited life experiences, low career aspirations and poor life skills. They are drawn from schools/FE colleges in economically deprived deprived areas e.g. East London, Doncaster, HullBoys in particular, who are a much under represented group in language learning, have shown to be motivated by the practical application of their business language course on our work experience trips and have subsequently gone on to pursue language learning at a much higher level. These include participants from low income families with non-working parents, ethnic minority backgrounds and include a high number drawn from migrant worker families. The project is also open to participants with special needs and disabilities. All our participants are studying for a vocational course, e.g. BTEC in Sport, Business, Leisure and Tourism and Hospitality Management, have opted for the work experience unit as part of their qualification and are also undertaking a business language course which may have been integrated into their main course or could be a parallel vocational level 2 or 3 course. The mission of the project is to increase the life chances of our participants and enhance their self belief and career aspirations. Our aim is to:- enable students to carry out their work experience in an international context- support students in their linguistic, vocational and cultural education - inspire them to consider wider European career opportunities- improve students life skills and opportunities- to promote the importance of languages in the workplace- to develop accompanying staff to become more effective vocational language teachers/trainers - to provide cross departmental project opportunities and enable interdepartmental staff to collaborate - to promote the integration of language teaching across a wider curriculumOutcomes: Participants will have: -increased linguistic and communication skills-broader understanding of the differences in cross border business cultures-increased recognition of value of languages in the workplace-improved motivation and behavior in their learning-improved ability to make informed career decisions-higher/wider career aspirations and expectations and an increased likelihood of language study to a higher level-improved awareness, sensitivity and tolerance to cultural differences-improved team working capacity and ability to take initiative
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