THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for the Case Study was collected during an interview with Giorgia Costalonga, contact person of IAL – Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), the promoting institution of the “TKT – Content and language Integrated Learning” project.
The background of the “TKT” project is based on the activities carried out by IAL Friuli Venezia Giulia, an agency for professionals training (accreditated by the FVG Region and MIUR). Among its activities, IAL Friuli Venezia Giulia organizes post-degree or post-MBA language courses addressed to teachers and professional and realised with the FSE support (according to ALTE certification). The main objective of those courses is to develop new approaches to language teaching and learning and to bring all the different school’s reforms.
The project target group is composed by 25 teachers (English language and other subjects) selected after written and oral examinations certifying their linguistic skills (B2/C1)
The project target language is English.
The “TKT” project has the objective to carry out a concrete innovation within the didactic process. The “traditional” teaching method is composed by frontal lessons and a formal relation between teacher and students. IAL’s objective is to train “new” teachers who intend to bring some changes within those processes and to regularly introduce the CLIL methodology. The “Content and language integrated learning” represents an important didactic tool which should be given to all the learners in order to improve their active participation.
The “TKT” project has been stratified upon different levels. First of all, partner and local institutions have been object of an interview in order to understand their aptitude to this innovative method. Secondly, IAL contacted all the potential teachers who could be interested in a CLIL approach. Once the group of direct beneficiaries was selected, CLIL experts have been asked to plan the project and give their personal contribution. In this phase, a close cooperation with the School Department of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region has been realised.
25 teachers attended the courses and positively passed the Cambridge TKT CLIL certification exam. This way, the TKT contributed to create 25 Regional CLIL experts whose competences are continuously demanded within the local context.
IAL Friuli Venezia Giulia, the “TKT – Content and language Integrated Learning” project promoter, decided to submit the application for the European Language Label with the aim to promote the international visibility of the project, to create new partnerships and to share what is considered a good practice.
IAL Friuli Venezia Giulia initial expectations were met for a number of reasons. First of all, the project acquired further visibility thanks to its presentation in the framework of an important national (i.e. the Language Label award ceremony that was held in Rome on 24 September 2010) and international event (the International Conference “The CLIL methodology within the European Project management”, held in Rome on 14 December 2011 (http://www.programmallp.it/lkmw_file/LLP/2011_Eventi/programma_conferenza_monitoraggio_CLIL.pdf). Secondly, the European Language Label allowed further partnerships with national institutions (University of Udine, University of Trieste, David Marsh/University of Jyväskylä; Gisella Lange/ ispettrice del MIUR, School Department of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lombardia Region), which were positively impressed by the European recognition. On these occasions, the project was nationally presented as an innovative best practice within the CLIL domain.
Different activities of dissemination followed the award of the European Language Label. First of all, the “TKT” project was the object of two interviews realised by RAI (Italian Radio and Television), Agenzia Nazionale LLP and ISFOL (National Agency for Professional Education). Then, it was inserted in the CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) study visits catalogue (http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/4110_en.pdf ) as “best practice” within the vocational training domain.
There are different benefits linked to the assignment of the European Language Label: it gave an European visibility to the project promoter, allowed further funding to the TKT initiative, guaranteed a greater attention from IAL personnel, had a motivational push over all the educational activities and encouraged the TKT promoter to diversify the pedagogical offer of the project, opening new paths in different languages and subjects.
In order to develop a quality project in the field of Language learning, the IAL Friuli Venezia Giulia advices to focus on the innovative aspect of the project: this European recognition represents the best way Italy may stand out within an highly competitive context.
The best way to exploit the European Language Label is to disseminate it, to share it in a wider context, to consider the award as the starting point for further steps.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the “TKT” project for its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. Among them, the “TKT” project has been chosen because it promotes a new approach to language teaching and learning through the CLIL approach, which allows a more direct contact with the foreign language. Also, the project promotes language learning for specific purposes, being addressed to teachers and professional in order to provide them with the specific CLIL-based competences.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
According to ISFOL, the TKT project is to be selected for the case studies because the project has been built around the necessity to apply the “Content and language integrated learning” approach. This effective methodology, focusing on teaching several subjects through a foreign language, is widely diffused at European level, while it is less known at national level. In order to overcome this knowledge deficit, the “TKT” project exploits the CLIL approach, offering vocational education teachers and trainers specific in service training courses on this subject. This responds to one of the European priorities, that is focusing on teacher training.
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