Learner-Based Training: An Innovative Approach to ..
Learner-Based Training: An Innovative Approach to Foreign Language Learning
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 30 nov. 2017
The number of students participating in language learning for adults is declining in most EU countries. We believe that one of the reasons why adults decide not to engage in language learning is that it is still characterised by industrial society’s view on learning and the use of an audio-lingual method (presentation - controlled practice - use). However, the individual in the knowledge society is demanding more communicative and individualised teaching.
The latest research in adult education and second language learning is clear regarding how second language learning for adults can meet these challenges. The latest neurodidactic research shows that modern second language learning must be communicative, based on the individual student’s learning style, qualifications, needs and wants. If the practical implementation of the communicative method involves teaching methods such as cooperative learning, task-based teaching and similar tools, students will find it relevant and motivating, and learning outcomes will improve. Alongside classroom teaching, well-functioning digital tools are making it possible to combine students’ individual needs with the advantages of student-centred classroom teaching.
Therefore, the aim of the project is to build a bridge between the latest research in second language learning and daily teaching practices. We want to determine how we in the best possible way can translate these research results into daily teaching practices and thereby attract more adults back to language learning. In the project, we will combine the best from communicative classroom based teaching with an individual coaching process that meets the individual participant’s needs and wants.
In the individual courses, we will combine the following:
• The good experiences German universities have had with coaching and self-learning courses.
• Individual supervision and guidance in second language learning, which has been tested in Denmark and Spain.
• An analysis of each student’s individual learning style and learning biography.
• The inclusion of digital media in a database that delivers both didactic and authentic material. The database will enable the student to experience the selected language in a virtual environment, which will simulate immersion learning and allow each student to choose the subjects they consider relevant to them. The database will be developed as part of the project.
• The students’ individual progress will be measured on a platform that also allows group activities.
Alongside these individual courses, the students will meet regularly in groups and a teacher will facilitate classroom based activities to practice the language. The teacher will act as an initiator and facilitator and it is the students who are active.
It vital to the project that the teachers are able to transfer the theory into practical learning courses. Therefore, the project will also include targeted professional training for the participating teachers, which will include a foundation introduction to coaching and supervision, an introduction to modern teaching methods and digital media within second language learning. The teacher training programme consist of different flexible courses with an initial online phase, a classroom based phase and a final online phase for reflection and quality assurance of the practical implementation.
The complete learning programme will be developed for English, German and Spanish and will be regularly evaluated and optimised with regards to the content and effect, compared with the latest research. After the project has been completed, an innovative and modern second language learning programme will have been produced and thus we can offer a relevant and appropriate language learning course to the post-modern individual. In this way, we expect to win the students back who have decided not to choose traditional language learning. All tools and experiences from the project will be readily available on an open platform, and we expect to be able to provide language learning across Europe with an important and innovative resource bank.
A strong consortium will guarantee the high quality and relevance of our product: Folkeuniversiteterne in Norway and Sweden, Studieskolen in Denmark and Volkshochschule Wiesbaden represent the largest providers of second language learning to adults in their countries and will be responsible for the production of the complete learning programme. The Danish Defence Academy and the teacher training center in Sibiu, Romania, will contribute their expertise from a more formal learning environment, while a team of researchers from Roskilde University, Copenhagen University and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona will provide scientific sparring and quality assurance. The International Association of Language Schools, ICC, and the Danish national umbrella organisation, DFS, will guarantee the relevance and dissemination of our product outside the consortium.
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