LFEE Languages Immersion Course
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
Based in Edinburgh, LFEE Europe’s teaching team comprises several French speakers, all of whom are experienced and fully qualified teachers committed to promoting French language and culture throughout Europe. The LFEE courses have a strong focus on teaching methodologies and encourage the use of engaging and stimulating resources (which would support our school’s delivery of the “1+2” language initiative). We consider that the participation of our teachers on the LFEE immersion course in France is an important step in working towards our goal of improving the teaching and learning of languages in our school. The aims of the LFEE Europe immersion courses are as follows -
• To improve methodological expertise in the teaching of French to young learners;
• To provide participants with materials and ideas suitable for the teaching of French at primary level;
• To develop cultural awareness and understanding of contemporary France;
• To improve participants’ competence and performance in French; and
• To use Internet and other ICT resources in classes.
In 2013, West Dunbartonshire Council introduced a new initiative with the objective that every child in primary education learns two foreign languages (in addition to their mother tongue). This initiative is in response to the Scottish Government report and guidelines on the teaching of languages in Scotland (which, itself, is based on the “1+2” model recommended by the European Union and adopted by many countries in Europe and beyond). The main goal of the initiative is to create a new model for language acquisition in Scotland. This is an ambitious and challenging pursuit, however, we believe that with the right approach and resources, it is achievable.
We plan to send two participants (fully trained primary teachers) to the LFEE 1 week immersion course in France. The LFEE immersion course is a foreign language training course for primary school teachers. The course focuses on teaching methodologies and use of innovative resources in the classroom. The course encourages participants to fully immerse themselves in French culture and to speak the language at every opportunity, thus furthering their own language skills whilst developing knowledge of a different culture. The LFEE course allows participants to meet teachers from other European countries and therefore results in access to a wide network of European teachers (as well as providing opportunities to make links with a partner school). The participation of two of our teachers in this course will equip them with the skills and knowledge to support and train other staff members, effectively improving the teaching and learning of foreign languages in our school. This will support our school in delivering the new “1+2” language strategy, as advised by our local authority.
The chosen participants have shown a particular interest and commitment to the teaching of languages within the school. Both participants are qualified teachers with 5+ years of experience (each) at various stages and are delivering weekly French lessons to classes in line with the “1+2” language strategy. Both participants are very keen to enhance their skills and increase their confidence in teaching French and, prior to applying, both participants fully researched their chosen courses and attended the relevant information evenings. Currently, one participant is teaching at second level and the other at first level. By training staff members from upper and lower stages, it is intended that the innovative teaching methodologies / resources and knowledge digested will thereafter be applicable for all learners (and, of course, staff) in our school.
After the week of intensive training (and in a French environment), the participants will be more confident and comfortable in the spoken language of French. Participants will spend their entire training communicating in French and in the company of French nationals, which will give them an enhanced (and less artificial) experience. Participants will then assist directly in reaching the French targets in the school’s Strategic Improvement Plan. With the experience gained by participants being fully shared amongst colleagues, the whole school community will work together to promote the school vision of appreciating other cultures and delivering the "1+2" Language strategy successfully. This vision will be embedded in the everyday running of the school. Upon return from the LFEE training course, both participants will also lead in-service training for other staff members and share teaching resources / strategies via regular peer observations and CPD opportunities.
The impact of the LFEE immersion courses on the young people in our school will be highly significant.
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