Start date: Mar 25, 2015,
End date: Feb 24, 2016
A multicultural teaching situation: the French end English tandem stay
This lived experiment will make it possible to surpass the abstract character of a discussion about an idealized multicultural society. It will encourage tolerance, understanding and engagement with others.
This tandem course will bring together 10 english and 10 french young people, age 14 to 16, from the 4 th to the 14th of july 2015. The group accommodations will be in the International YMCA – UCJG Center Le Rocheton, for 10 days, in Melun, France (50 km from Paris), in its camping site.
The participants are placed depending on the structure of their district; priority for the program goes to young people who are doing poorly in school. The youth must have 1 year studying the partner language to participate.
The 2 organisations already have extensive experience with international projects and are competent in all of their specialisations:
The National YMCA of England: the federation of English YMCAs coordinate and initiate international projects to foster solidarity and nourish partnerships around common topics such as the social exclusion of young people.
Association YMCA UCJG Le Rocheton: this association began over fifty years ago to do social work projects, which include language retreats, a vacation center, BAFA, colonies, family stays, humanitarian aid, and other international exchanges.
The tandem method puts youth in a non scholastic learning situation. These youth are often failing school courses and do not accept the discipline required of them in school. The structure of school courses inhibit their motivation to learn, placing them on a long term path of social failure.
This constant results have being noticed by the 2 partners.
Using the tandem method relieves the participants of the knowledge of “learning” and communicating in their partner language. The exchange situation allows for increasing competence in the partner language.
1. Live Interculturally
The youth discover that their everyday life, their country, their city and their districts are elements that help them understanding the social realities of the partner country. Situations of confrontation must encourage the participants to consciously recognize similarities and differences. Reflecting on the identities of others also permits self reflection on what constitutes ones own identity and its particulars. This knowledge permits each youth a better acceptance of oneself and others.
Setting into perspective their future as well as their daily realities must also allow these youth to feel the urgency for investing in active citizenship roles.
2. Trying Solidarity
This stay also helps in forgetting one’s ego, allowing to be opened to others, to live and work together, participating in common events . Group lives communal activities where each participant is responsible for the quality of the program is a major focus of tandem.
3. Learning Together
For social and financial reasons, these youth are too often excluded from opportunities in which they can expand their schooling and thus develop a real motivation for learning new and useful knowledge. The tandem method creates motivation to learn.
It is the mutual responsibility of the participants to take turns in the roles of student and teacher within the structure of the tandem method, giving them responsibility - for self improvement.
4. The method
Tandem is a bicycle for two people that advances only if both are invested and pedal at the same time. It’s the pooling of the two forces that gives tandem its dynamic. Alone each individual could not advance.
In tandem, students rest on a kind of didactic contract entered by two partners whose maternal language is different. They alternate speaking between one another’s languages, taking turns in the role of teacher and student. Complement and reciprocity are the two principles of tandem.
Two bilingual leaders (one French, one English) organise the course and propose 3 hours of language activities per day. They gives references, helps the tandem to advance, proposes didactic frameworks, and stimulates participation.
5. The activities
- tandem courses
- a visit to Paris, to Fontainebleau
- workshops: cooking, singing
- sports and outside activities
- discovery of the welknown forest of Fontainebleau
Preliminary preparation, and exploring the common experience are also integral parts of the project.
-Evaluations take place within the framework of the seminar and will be of two types. One part is a regular and daily return to the exchanges of the previous day. The other part is two “face to face” evaluations: one during the stay and the other at the end.
- 6 months after the stay, with each participant to acknowledge their situation.
COMMUNICATION :The results of the French end English tandem stay, will be broadcast at a largest public, locally to international : by internet
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