Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
This project is to enable one participant from this organisation who is a qualified secondary school teacher of Modern Languages in French and German to attend a 3 week language immersion course in Malaga, Spain. The participant already has some knowledge of the Spanish language and culture and would like to further improve their knowledge to enable them to teach this language at secondary school level. This will also enable them to embed the target language into the school and will help the school to follow the new curriculum, Curriculum for Excellence as well as aiding with the implementation of the Scottish Government's 1+2 language policy.
This will also allow the school to add to their existing partners in Europe and establish further links with other European schools. The school currently runs three different exchanges to schools in France, Germany and Spain and pupils have shown an even deeper interest that goes beyond, simply participating in the exchanges. A select group of pupils in the senior phase will also spend an extended period of time this summer living with families and going to school in these countries to deepen their own linguistic skills outside of the classroom. This will be greatly beneficial to their studies in the coming year, building confidence in their abilities as well as allowing them to experience the life and culture of the country of their chosen language.
The participant has also introduced a penpal scheme for pupils in S1-S3 with a school in France and it is hoped in the coming year to also do this with schools in both Germany and Spain. The purpose of this is to gain a deeper interest from pupils in the junior phase with the aim to see an increased interest in Modern Languages in the senior phase.
It will also encourage staff and pupils to use ICT more effectively and to communicate and establish new practices with schools both within the Uk and across Europe. The participant has already imbedded the further use of ICT in the classroom, using departmental ipads and websites such as 'Kahoot' and apps such as 'Duolinguo' which have improved learners' experiences in the classroom, the expertise about how to use these was obtained by the participant during the immersion course.
This application was submitted on behalf of one participant from this organisation The participant has studied Spanish on a part time basis at Strathclyde University for the last 3 years and has now obtained her Continuing Certificate of Education (CCed) in the Spanish language which will allow her to teach this language at a secondary school level. Prior to the immersion course, the applicant had not had the opportunity to spend an extended period of time in Spain or had any specialist training in the teaching of the Spanish language. The immersion course was selected as it meets the needs of the participant, her school and local authority, which due to the increase in the demand for the Spanish language were also able to greatly benefit from the project.
The knowledge, expertise, resources and good practice obtained at the immersion course has greatly benefited the applicant's school as the resources, expertise and instances of good practice have been shared with other colleagues in her own department and in other departments across the local authority, providing the pupils with an engaging and deeper learning experience. This positive experience in the junior phase (S1-S3) has resulted in a greater uptake of Spanish in the senior phase (S4-S6), this can be said for both certificated and non-certificated courses, which have also been revaluated and added to from the resources gained at the immersion course. This shows that the project's benefits reach far beyond the participant's own teaching practice.
As well as this, in the primary sector who are preparing for and putting into practice the Scottish Government's 1+2 policy, the resources and skills obtained by the applicant have been invaluable. Many of the resources have been used and where appropriate, adapted to the appropriate level to enable Spanish to be taught at the primary school level. The participant has also shared her expertise with her primary colleagues to enable them to teach Spanish to their own classes, this has been done at twilight sessions and at subject specialist days.
This course will also enable the participant to become a fully registered Spanish teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS.) It is a formal requirement by this professional body for all Modern Language teachers to spend a period of at least 3 months living in the country of their chosen language that they will teach as well as completing a minimum of two years of study at University level . This immersion course, which was designed with this purpose in mind has allowed the applicant to do this.
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