THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for the Case Study was collected during an interview with José María Cuenca Montesino, teacher in charge of European Projects at the “Lycée Pilote Innovant International” of Jaunay-Clain (Poitiers) in France. José María Cuenca Montesino represents the promoting institution of the “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project.
The background of the “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project is based on the peculiarity of the promoter institute, whose timetable is composed by 50 (rather 55) minutes’ lessons. The saved minutes are used every Thursday afternoon for the realization of projects and conferences involving all students. During those special lessons, students are put into heterogeneous classes composed by different ages and different nationalities. Students can present their proposals on their own or participate to the initiatives suggested by their teachers. Among all the initiatives carried out by the school, this particular project is addressed to students who are interested in the Hispano-American culture.
The project target groups are teachers and students of the “Lycée Pilote Innovant International” Jaunay-Clain (Poitiers).
The project target languages are French (as working language) and Spanish (as destination language).
The “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project has the objective to promote a practical approach to the learning of a foreign language. In addition, the festival is usually dedicated to a specific theme (woman’s condition, civil rights, etc): this way culture does not only represent the ultimate goal of study, but it is also an interesting tool in order to improve linguistic skills. During the Festival, students are invited to watch, in dedicated areas, new movies on Hispano-American culture. However, selected movies do not have to be played in Spanish; they just have to concern an Hispano-American cultural aspect.
Students are fully in charge of organising the Festival, under the supervision of their teachers. They have to select the movies for the Festival, contact the sponsor partners (Conseil Regional de Poitou-Charentes, Ville de Poitiers), obtain the appropriate budget (more or less 7,500 Euros), manage the funding, contact the distributors of the selected movies, organize the festival and its sections (documentaries, Spanish films, Hispano-American films), advertise the initiative, organize the opening/closing event.
The success of the festival represents its main result. For the instance, five different editions have already been realised, with an important support of the Region and a growing national visibility. But the main result is represented by the fact that all the activities are realised directly by the students themselves with the assistance of their teachers. The final impact is an awareness of Hispano-American culture as it results from the selected movies.
“Lycée Pilote Innovant International”, the “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project promoter, decided to submit the application for the European Language Label with the aim to share an innovative practice and to give an international impact to the project.
The expectations linked to the candidature had a positive feedback. First of all the project showed to an European audience how an innovative method can be positively used in the teaching of a foreign language; a film represents a cultural and linguistic mark of a country, which can be used as an added value in a pedagogical process. Also, the project gained further visibility through an external and qualitative recognition.
The institution put the Label logo on its portal as an added value for its activities. This symbolic recognition constituted the best “visible face” to be shown to old and new partners.
Thanks to this award, the project obtained a better national and international visibility, which guaranteed a greater economic support by its institutional partners. Furthermore, the Label opened a number of new partnerships which contributed to the following editions of the Festival.
In order to develop a quality project in the field of Language learning, the “Lycée Pilote Innovant International” advices to focus on the innovative aspects. A project should suggest new ideas and find new pathways to promote cultural awareness and language learning. Once underlined those innovative aspects, a project will express its value, obtaining a greater attention by the European audience.
The Ell logo is the best way to exploit this award. The Label offers an European qualitative showcase which can be used in order to immediately impress its competitors and partners.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project for its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, the “Festival de cinéma hispano-américain de Poitiers” project promotes a new approach to language teaching and learning: it aims to give a real dimension to the study of a foreign language through an innovative method represented by the organisation of a film event. Also, the project develops a non formal approach, because the festival represents an integration or alternative tool to traditional classroom based teaching activities, focusing on the cultural aspects and developing management/communicative skills.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
The project was selected as case by the French National Agency “Europe-Education-Formation”.
According to the French evaluator, as stated in the “Label des Labels – 10 ans de projets” publication, this is an interesting project which already reached its fourth edition. In particular, the project is showed its relevance in the framework of promotion of multilingualism, which is one of the EU priorities. The realization of the project is a good example on the teaching and technical level.
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