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Fostering Bilingualism
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

IES Francisco de los Cobos is a secondary school located in the historical centre of Úbeda. Its students come from a medium-low socio-economic background, with an important percentage at risk of social exclusion. It is a small school, with a staff of around 30 teachers, which is characterized by its willingness to innovate, having taken part in as many initiatives, plans, programs and projects as it has been possible in the last few years. Its latest enterprise has been to be recognised as a bilingual school, within the framework of the Plan to Foster Plurilingualism by the Junta de Andalucía. Due to the school's participation in this Plan, it is essential that our teachers keep updated, since this will imply a new way of teaching and working with our students. This is the reason which has taken us to apply for this KA1 Erasmus+ program, since we consider that this is the best way to overcome the needs that have been detected in our school and teachers. In this project, seven teachers will take part in teachers courses in the UK and Ireland, which will allow them to improve their competences in various respects, such as the mastering of L2 (English), new methodological approaches, a better understanding of Anglosaxon and European cultures and the establishing of professional networks with other European teachers and schools which can be very useful to exchange good methodological practices and possible future KA2 Erasmus+ associations. The teachers selected to take part in these courses have a very specific professional profile: they must have a good level of English and be eligible to give their lessons in bilingual groups during this school year, and the following ones. Besides, some of the teachers in the Department of English must also update their competences, since they will be responsible for advising the rest of the colleagues in their respective subjects. The idfferent courses the teachers will attend are designed to be very practical, giving them the necessary resources to update their methodology and thus make their lessons more students-friendly. In addition, thanks to the linguistic immersion these courses will mean, they will allow the teachers to improve their competence in English, as well as to gain a deeper knowledge of the culture of English-speaking countries. Another aspect in which teachers will benefit from the attendance to the courses will be the European dimension of the project, since they will meet teachers from different European countries. This will also lead to the establishment of professional links which may be very useful for future collaborations, either through eTwinning or through Erasmus+ associations. Thanks to the achievement of the objectives previously stated, the impact that the project will have in IES Francisco de los Cobos and its community will be very positive andclear in a short, medium and long term basis. In the short-term, because of the immediate benefits on the teachers, who will be able to work better and more efficiently, which will have a direct consequence on students, who will feel more involved and motivated in lessons, this being also a way to prevent early school leaving. In medium and long term, the activities developed in this project will also have a great impact in the school life, since they will trigger a methodological update thatwill affect permanently the way of working in our school, and they will also be a springboard for future activities with other European schools, granting IES Francisco de los Cobos a European dimension so necessary nowadays.
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