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Rethinking methodology: hacia la innovación en la enseñanza de idiomas
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Official Language School of Vigo is a public institution dedicated to language instruction for a wide range of students, ranging from 15-year-olds to senior citizens. The centre issues official certificates of language ability within the system of non-obligatory education. The centre has an enrolment of 9,300 students from diverse backgrounds and a total workforce of 118 employees. The staff of 102 teachers are characterized by their vitality and their interest in staying up to date with the latest teaching methods, both through continuing education and through participation in various European projects. Our project proposal is based on an understanding of the centre’s needs as determined by the school’s directors and teaching staff. The project was designed and drafted by a group of teachers working in close collaboration at regular meetings and in online work sessions. This mobility project aims to address many of the challenges faced by European citizens today. Given a job market that demands employees with good language skills and cultural awareness, our school plays a vital role in helping our students find employment, discover new opportunities, and achieve personal growth. In accordance with Education and Training 2020, we aim to guarantee students a high-quality education based on a the latest pedagogical concepts and strategies. Our approach integrates various disciplines as a complement to linguistic training, while promoting innovation and adopting strategies to foster lifelong learning. With its dedication to continued innovation and improvement, the Language School in Vigo has been applying methodologies based on the principles of the CEFR, with particular attention to the concepts of task-based instruction and lifelong learning. A needs analysis has shown that our most pressing challenges appear in two areas. First, educational reforms at the national level (“LOMCE”) require us to redesign the curriculum in order to integrate the new “C-level” courses. Secondly, we aim to improve digital literacy by integrating ITCs into the classroom. With this in mind, our project targets four flows, each containing two mobilities, over a period of two years in order to profit from and evaluate our learning as it takes place, and so that we can share it with as many people as possible. Two mobilities will be requested in order to attend a structured learning course on teaching methods related to tasked-based learning. Concepts covered will include theory and practice in task-based instruction, error correction, and developing students’ cognitive skills. Two additional mobilities will be requested for a CIEP course in the use of online tools, the design of multimedia activities, and the application of evaluation criteria in DELF/DALF certification. And finally, four more mobilities will be requested for two courses each on the subject of adult education, leading to CELTA certification (Cambridge). These courses focus on the analysis of linguistic skills, evaluation strategies, and resource management. These mobilities will have a direct impact in several pedagogical areas. In the first place, they will be apparent in the staff’s reflective teaching practices, which will be brought up to date, making use of new techniques and methodologies. New teaching syllabi will be created for the revised curriculum, and ITCs will be integrated into instruction in order to improve learning and evaluation. Pedagogical objectives will be put in accord with curricular objectives, and attention will be paid to strategies that help students learn autonomously. The main outcome we seek is to improve educational quality through the latest methodologies, increasing the European dimensions of the Language School. The continuity of this project will have an exponential effect on language learning, since our centre is responsible for the training of teachers at all levels (from pre-school to vocational and university). A further outcome will be visible in the cultivation of a better work ethic at our institution based on teamwork and collaboration, thereby enriching our teaching. Our project’s success depends on the widest possible dissemination of our learning and insights. We hope to achieve a ripple effect on our educational community, making our work more visible through study groups and seminars sponsored in collaboration with the Centre for Education and Resources, as well as through the use of "teaching pills" and an online resource bank available to the entire community. Project evaluation is an important factor in guaranteeing the project’s long-term viability. Initial and final evaluation will be conducted by means of online questionnaires in order to monitor the achievement of intended results. But in addition, an external type of evaluation will be used by the teachers in each course, and internal monitoring will be conducted by the European programme team.
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