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Joining Europe: a better way to communicate, share and encourage knowledge
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will be developed at the “Agustín Gericó School”. This charter school is located at the San José district in the city of Zaragoza (Fifth biggest city in Spain). The socio-cultural context of the Centre is medium-low, the entity has 613 students, 28% of whom are immigrant students, of which, 56.4% are students with special difficulties and they do receive specific support from the Entity’s staff. A 29.1% of all students receive some extra support in order to enhance their speaking skills with an English immersion program. Pupils with special education needs amount up to 2.1% of the school population. Participants and candidates in these activities will be our English teachers with an extensive teaching experience, totally involved in the School Bilingualism Program and really keen to improve their language and communication skills in the English language, especially their conversational skills. The hosting organizations providing the courses would be: "Bell Teacher Campus" in UK and the University of Limerick in Ireland. The related activities to be developed at the School after these courses would involve the rest of the foreign language teachers and of course all our students. The aim of the courses is multiple; first, the participants will experience a total immersion with the exclusive use of their second language thus it will facilitate the maximum development of speaking skills in relation to this language. In the second place, the course aims to train participants to use ICTs in class and to apply knowledge for exploitation and creation of ICTs resources in the process of teaching and learning. Participants will learn to work with open software and to use a wide range of ICTs and communication tools. The use of the latters through an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and creating digital learning resources that will allow to support and strength the development of English language skills, and to apply them later to other subjects such as social sciences or mathematics. Some preparatory meetings and subsequent actions to guide and organize the courses abroad are required before departure. After departure, some follow up, feedback analysis and course evaluation are required as well. A later stage involves the sharing of the experience and the development of plans to implement the acquired skills, both individually and collectively in the School. Moreover, the courses and activities will have a heavy positive impact on students, on the school and also on the neighborhood community. Methodology: First, we realized we needed to improve in this area of knowledge; therefore we looked for solutions that could be implemented through the Erasmus Plus program. Subsequently the International Relations Department of the School was created as the competent body for all the tasks related to these kinds of activities. It gives the guidelines for assessment and selection of potential candidates, it states the school preparatory needs and it develops the outcome evaluation. The expected results are an improvement in the English language skills of the teachers, specially on speaking; learning new technologies and therefore some more motivating methodologies for students to reduce school failure and to approach Europe and its integrating values; cultural diversity, exchange of experiences and to share good practices with other European colleagues. The expected impact will be very positive for the entire educational community (parents, teachers, students, PAS, AMPA), it will be shared within the district and local press, also on blogs and websites related to the School and even on those of some new European Collegues. We hope and we would like to also extend these benefits and actions to higher levels of education at the same school. The long-term benefits will be a more European dimension of the School and the entire educational community, with the consequent approach to Europe and its valuation of multiculturalism. Students will be more motivated and we will be able to strongly reduce school failure. Besides, we will get some deeply motivated and highly qualified professionals to perform their task: Joining Europe: A better way to communicate, share and encourage knowledge.
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