THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The objective of the project was to offer Swedish language training for foreign students. The training was supposed to give in one year a sufficient competency of Swedish for training and for work in a Swedish-speaking environment. The approach to achieve these aims was to create a blended learning course that utilized the modern ICT technology in teaching, which was a typical approach to that time. Another objective of the project was to promote the knowledge and competence of a minor European language. One aim was also to develop the contacts between the countries around the Baltic Sea. Historically the common language in this region has been Swedish. Methodologically the project used new virtual and online approaches for teaching a language.
Even though the project was a Swedish language course, it was also - and in an significant way - part of Hanken’s strategy for internationalization. A network between the institutions was created during the project and this network and cooperation was one of the main tools for recruiting foreign students.
”Swedish” has become a popular language course from the year 1994 on and there were also students from other universities. The work for the teacher of the course was not supplied with resources that would be enough for carrying out the tasks and a change for this was needed. Hanken found the international partners for the project planning, and an Erasmus-funded project was realized from 2001 to 2004. The evaluation of the results took place after the courses and seminars. The project and it’s results were presented in various events. The project received the ELL and it was rewarded also nationally after this prize. It was selected as a pilot “Vopla” in 2006, when the training course was standardized by Hanken.
A model of a blended learning training course that can be adapted to other languages, too.
Swedish as a foreign language is an individual training programme and it is integrated into Hanken’s offer of training programmes. The quality of the programme has been evaluated and standasdized as a result of the pilot “ Vopla”.
Hanken was asked to apply for the European Language Label, because the ”Swedish” training course had been of interest outside the training institution. At the time Hanken was in front of the other training organisations what it comes to the course design. Hanken made an application for the Label and the director was for it by signing the application.
The project received much visibility. A new module related to the “Swedish” concept was created in Krakow in 2005: a programme called “Scandinavian programme” was develop
A new programme, called “ Scandinavian module”, was created in Krakow in 2005, this programme was related to the previous “Swedish” programme. Cooperation with the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance (Finec) started, and also in 2008 a cooperation with the Estonian partner Rootsi Vähemusrahvuse kutuurinöukogu began. There was external funding for the cooperation.
The ELL increased the appreciation of the project also inside Hanken. After the ELL reward the project received also some funding from inside the institution. The model has still been developed further. The impact of receiving the ELL has really exceeded the expectations also among the international partners and inside Hanken.
Comments on this Case Studies