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Opening up multilingual opportunities at school
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Even though The New Beacon School has excelled in French provision, there is a project objective to develop language learning in other European languages, namely Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and English as a foreign language. The staff have high quality teaching methods in French, yet there are 5 potential staff members who have Spanish, Italian, Russian and German in their repertoire which they have not used or learned since university. They will need to improve their language skills as well as update their methodology specific to the European languages mentioned. For example, one can identify various language courses abroad that are open to ERASMUS plus funding in Spain, Germany, Austria, Latvia and Italy which not only fulfill the requirements of intensive language learning over a period of 2-3 weeks but also offer a European dimension to the culture of these different European nations which can be added to the school curriculum at New Beacon. Therefore the key objectives are to train teachers to a good enough standard to offer after-school clubs in Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and English as a foreign language. Furthermore, The New Beacon is looking to use its facilities and staff for outside projects to help grant-maintained pupils learn languages at the weekends. The main activities would involve staff training abroad on structured language courses in Riga, Latvia, Spanish in Valencia, Spain, German in Vienna, Austria and Italian in Florence, Italy. The trained participants will bring enhanced language teaching within the school and their new knowledge will be disseminated to the rest of the staff of the MFL department and create new teaching materials for the department. As well as offering these new languages in after-school clubs to 400 boys and Saturday morning taster sessions to the residents of Sevenoaks (300-500 adults and children), the school will look to celebrate the European Day of Languages on 26th September each year from 2015 and subsequent years with multilingual events. This will include specially prepared and translated menus to link languages and culture with the pupils' everyday experiences at school. The events can be promoted in the local media, school website and European databases to highlight New Beacon's intent and action to promote multilingualism and a better understanding of EU members' Latvia, Austria and Italian.

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