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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context: The Official School of Languages of San Javier is located in the Mar Menor area, Murcia (Spain). The school provides specialized teaching of English and French for more than 1,600 students, from beginners to advanced. Regarding language teaching and CEFRL certification, we are a point of reference in our area. The school plays a major role in young people's linguistic training for the labour market as well as for their personal development. The average student is a young person, over 16, who studies English to improve their employment prospects. Our area lives mainly on tourism and there are an important number of British residents. Farming is also vital for the local economy and there are several exporting companies. There is also an international airport, San Javier, which demands employees with a good level of English. Throughout the years we have seen how difficult it is to achieve a high level in spoken English, being Speaking the skill in which our students failed the most. However, it is probably the most important skill for them in order to communicate efficiently and to find a job. The main objective of this project is, therefore, to improve the way our students learn to speak in class. Participants: Seven teachers take part in this project. All of them have university degrees and are highly experienced in teaching English. Many of them have also taken part in different European projects. Activities: In order to achieve our objective we have designed a plan for teacher training which will help teachers to learn and make use of the newest methodologies for improving speaking, mainly based on pronunciation, drama techniques and creativity. The courses have been selected bearing in mind their relevance to the project and the trainers’ expertise. These are the following: ‘Pronunciation workout: from sounds to storytelling’, organized by Bell in Cambridge and given by Adrian Underhill, and ‘Creative Methodology for the Language Classroom'in the classroom’ organized by Pilgrims English Teacher Courses. Methodology: Our methodology has been participatory. The teachers have determined the school needs based on our students’ demands. After defining needs and objectives, we look for a way to achieve our goals with the help of some specific courses given by well-known experts in this field. The staff meeting will choose the best candidates in a fair and transparent process to ensure that the best candidates can attend the courses. Results: As soon as the teachers come back from their courses, they will create a database with activities in the English department to be used by the rest of their colleagues. We really expect to improve our students' speaking skills, enhance their European dimension, promote life-long learning and improve their working prospects. We want to work towards education excellence and to promote quality educational opportunities which stimulate our students’ personal and professional development, competence, adaptability, employability and their active participation in society. Impact: The foreseen impact is based on the effect that the courses will have on our school. First, our teachers will acquire new competence, techniques and strategies to successfully promote speaking in the English classroom. The teachers who attend the courses will come back being better teachers, more motivated and efficient. This new knowledge will be shared with the other teachers in the department who will also benefit from their colleagues’ experience. The teachers attending courses will create a database with activities for the English department and will work on improving the syllabus with the new competence, techniques ans strategies. The students will benefit from the implementation of new and effective approaches to teaching speaking. Therefore, we will achieve our objectives and meet our school, students and teachers’ needs. Through professional websites we will spread our results, which will benefit other schools in our region, Europe and the world. The results will be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by monitoring the student's performance and opinion. Long term benefits: In the long term, the benefits of the project are unquestionable. The school will update strategies, techniques and methodologies and will be more efficient and in a better position to provide our students with quality education which will help them to grow personally and professionally.

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