THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for the case study was collected during an interview with Ms Liliana Dellevoet, the project coordinator.
As a founder member of QUEST ROMANIA (the Romanian Association for Quality Language Services) PROSPER-ASE was actively involved in the piloting of the EAQUALS-ALTE ELP for adults in Romania, before its publication in the year 2000. PROSPER continued to demonstrate their interest in this tool created by the Council of Europe by translating it into Romanian and contributing to its publication with the help of the Romanian Government. In 2001, QUEST organised the launch of one of the components of the ELP, namely the Language Passport, under the auspices of Romania’s President at the time.
The idea of a project meant to inform as many people as possible about the benefits of using the European Language Portfolio came to the organisation at a time when Romania was considering becoming a EU member. Given the underlying principles of the European Union, the citizens’ right to travel freely within its borders, to live, study and work in any of the member states, we realized how important it would be for Romanian citizens to be able to certify their language level – in any foreign language - in a standardized manner at European level. On the other hand, such a tool would have also helped them develop self-evaluation skills and plan their learning in order to achieve their individual learning objectives.
The need to be prepared or to prepare others for this kind of mobility was perceived by quite a number of target groups, which were included among the project target groups that were to be informed about the existence of such a tool and its uses.
This need was not restricted to Romania, of course, and this is how the project partnership came to include members from several countries, such as Greece, Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium, Slovakia, Italy and Romania, National Associations for Quality Language Services (from Greece, Poland, Romania, plus from Croatia, all members of EAQUALS, the European Association for Quality Language Services) QUEST, Higher education institutions, private education institutions, media, NGOs, all in all 15 members.
Given its aim of disseminating information about the existence and use of the ELP for adults, the EuroIntegrELP project addressed national authorities and policy makers, multipliers and adult language learners.
Through its aims, the EuroIntegrELP project was meant to enhance the chances for social integration, employability and mobility of adults of various social and professional groups. It also aimed to contribute to the promotion of language learning using the European Language Portfolio (the EAQUALS/ALTE version for adults) as a quality instrument.
From the very beginning PROSPER-ASE tried to form a solid partnership, that would allow for a wide dissemination of the ELP. The partners were National Associations of Language Services in Romania, Poland, Greece and Croatia (which joined the project without funding from the European Commision), representatives of the media, ONGs, language schools, Universities.
The dissemination activities were clearly addressing the project target groups, such as policy makers, multipliers, undergraduate students, etc.and specific dissemination materials were produced for each of them. In this way, the message was clear and the project objectives could be reached.
The decision makers in the project partner countries (e.g. ministries and employers) were made aware of the existence and benefits of using the ELP as a document which certifies the employees’ language level. At the same time, an impressive number of ELP users became familiar with this instrument, thus increasing their chances to mobility and employability and to access to European values in general.
The project activities included ELP-focused teacher training in numerous educational and country contexts; PR activities addressed to e.g. decision-makers, the media, employers; implementing the ELP in teacher training and language learning throughout educational sectors; translation of the EAQUALS-ALTE ELP in six additional languages and publishing the multilingual version in 15 languages; setting up networks of professionals and institutions, and building on synergies to promote the ELP for more effective language learning.
One notable project outcome was the translation of the EAQUALS-ALTE ELP into six additional languages (Dutch, Slovak, Lithuanian, Estonian) and the publication of a multilingual version in 15 languages (in 15 000 copies).
Other outcomes were:
• Project website, with materials for different target groups, in 11 languages: http://www.prosper.ro/EuroIntegrELP/EurointegrELP.htm;
• Materials developed for teachers and students, teacher trainers and multipliers, employers and authorities, in all the project languages, plus English;
• Articles, conference presentations and workshops in over 20 countries.
The results were consistent with the plans and, due to the enthusiasm of the project partners, they even exceeded the initial expectations in terms of events organised and number of end users reached through the project activities
The project results were assessed by an external evaluator who looked at how the project activities and outcomes related to the work plan developed by the project coordinator and
• Strong, continuous impact throughout educational sectors: through the comprehensive collection of materials (including guides) for various target audiences in several less widely used languages, through TT/TD-expertise developed, publications, workshops, etc.
• Wider European impact: included (in 2011) on the ECML ELP-website (http://elp.ecml.at/tabid/2592/language/en-GB/Default.aspx);
• The ‘EuroIntegrELP’ 15-language version of the EAQUALS-ALTE ELP, published and printed in 15 000 copies, distributed internationally; project materials and workshops were integrated in various LLL-projects (e.g. three Grundtvig Learning Partnership projects, 1 LdV Transfer-of-Innovation project; ECML projects, e.g. ‘QualiTraining’ — included in the ‘QualiTraining Guide’ and website, ‘ELP-TT’ — included on the ECML ‘ELP-TT’ website; the EAQUALS Special Interest Project on ‘Implementing the ELP’, etc.);
• International impact, beyond Europe: e.g. Algeria, China.
The decision to apply for the European Language Label was made by the project promoter, PROSPER-ASE Language Centre, in order to ensure the recognition of its quality at national level and to offer the project further visibility.
In order to apply the criteria announced by the Romanian National Agency were considered, and as they were met, the application was made.
"As we continued to carry out various dissemination activities related to the European Language Portfolio, we mentioned that the project had received the ELL, as a recognition of its value. We felt that this was giving us even more credibility in front of our audience", said MS Dellevoet.
The EuroIntegrELP project was not only awarded the ELL in 2007, but in 2012 it was selected by the Romanian National Agency as the best Romanian project which received the ELL and will be participating in the Multilingualism in Europe Conference organised in Limassol, Cyprus, in September 2012. There will be one project from each European country and the top 5 European projects will be selected on the same occasion.
In this situation the EuroIntegrELP project is gaining even more visibility, as there will be several presentation materials which will be made public.
Projects which can prove that the impact they had was significant stand more chances to be appreciated in case you apply for the ELL. Therefore, make sure you select the right partners, that your objectives are very clear and your outcomes can be quantified.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the EuroIntegrELP project because of its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, the EuroIntegrELP project has been chosen because it contributes to the enhancement of quality of language teaching by disseminating information about the European Language Portfolio in order to increase employability and mobility of various groups of people.
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