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"Meet the Media in Europe!"
Start date: 15 Jul 2016, End date: 14 Jan 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In 2015 we at our school instigated the first Erasmus+ project, to give young audiovisual media designers the chance to do internships in London. Good language abilities and international experience are indispensable for apprentices in media and IT businesses, so it is important to create opportunities to speak colloquial and vocation-oriented English. Furthermore, we are mindful of how we should reach out to the young refugees and asylum-seeking pupils whom we expect at our school shortly, and believe that our experience of the diversity of other nations and social environment will add to the awareness of our own.Our project, “Meet the media in Europe!”, aims at examining basic questions in a European or even wider dimension: the function of the media as an opinion-forming power; the area of conflict between freedom of the press and personal rights; and the spectrum between free and manipulative or propaganda-oriented media. In a European context it questions the mistrust of freedom of reporting, and fear of accusations of racism and discrimination within the media themselves, an area of special vulnerability during the current refugees crisis. From our point of view it is reasonable and necessary to identify international differences in media coverage and to question our own – specifically German – opinions and reactions.A further aim is to create general standards and guidelines for training young refugees and asylum seekers who want to undergo vocational training; and to design new lesson-modules to aid in their better integration. A medium-term target is the extension of our projected video documentation programme; that is, guided narrative interviews between our media design students and refugees, leading to strategic partnerships. This would be initiated in the project for which we are applying.We would like to see what international colleagues think of the areas on which we have chosen to focus and whether they think we should consider other ideas. We would also gain experiences in project management and organization.Within the project's term of 18 months we envisage undertaking seven modules, to be participated in by ten teachers, mostly from the media department, amongst whose duties would also be the instruction of refugee and asylum-seeking students.We will start the project with structured courses aiming at linguistic fluency and an understanding of the methodology and didactic aims of the "CLIL". Initially the point is to refresh the language abilities of the staff, but we also want to develop teaching modules for bilingual classes of digital media designers. By such exchanges with CLIL-teachers from other countries we hope to advance our own future CLIL-instruction.Within the framework of a "structured visit" one qualified teacher would also go to Sweden (apart from Germany the preferred destination of the recent flow of refugees) and one to Italy, one of the nations thrown into the greatest disarray by the chaotic recent migrations. We are also curious to know how the reception of native-language media influences the acquisition of language itself. (We have been interested in the situation in Iceland, where American films and serials are often been seen, but not synchronized.) Are the young quite automatically learning English and - an exciting side-effect of this question - how do they react to the efforts of an official committee, whose concern is to keep their own language free from anglicisms and other foreign influences?Visits to classes and job-shadowing will also take one teacher to Norway and one to Poland. We specifically want to visit these two countries because very much at issue at the moment is the question of mediation, of competences and responsibilities in regard to the democratic capacities, or otherwise, of the media (freedom of press and information!). In the ranking of these two ingredients they are currently at oppositional ends: Norway is a worldwide spearhead of freedom of the press and Poland, due to its disputed new media law, is under observation by a European Commission which is examining the constitutional legality of that law.Our aim is to absorb intercultural experiences and norms and intra-European best practices in teaching young refugees and asylum seekers, in order to establish optimum relationships between lecturers and learners, between local and soon-to-be integrated students, about the presentation of inspiring lessons despite deficient language abilities, but also to demonstrate the virtues of cooperation and mutual exchange in everyday life. As a school community we can contribute immeasurably to this “Willkommenskultur”, and promote in our new fellow citizens an appreciation and respect of what we stand for.Our idea of initiating a cooperative project between our media pupils and refugees (including audiovisual documentation of interviews with young migrants), will be open to international cooperation with other schools and institutions.
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