THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
CEIP León Solá, Melilla is located in a marginal area. Some studies carried out in the district, pointed that social exclusion that affects 40% of families resides in a lack of linguistic knowledge. In order to combat segregation , the involvement of the teaching community in the social development of the region resulted in this program focused in early language learning and designed for a multicultural context in a deprived area. Considering that the school hosts pupils with a range of different languages (being Tamazight spoken for more than two hundred people the main one), teachers encouraged foreign pupils from infant education (3 to 5) to learn Spanish. Unfortunately, the truth is that the lack of knowledge of Spanish does not allow most of them to acquire the basic goals established to start primary education by the legislative framework governing and guiding the Spanish education system comprised in the Spanish Constitution . It means that by enhancing their linguistic knowledge, students will be better prepared to face the next six academic years together with secondary education . The program focuses not only in language teaching but in feeling expression, conflict resolution, and analysis of different situations from a range of views and the comprehension of other individuals based on personal, cultural and social aspects. On top of that, students deal with human rights and the fundamental freedoms under the EC Treaty and the way to democratic participate in society. Due to students early age, these topics are mingled with fantasy and imagination. As an example, of this best practice, the teacher of audition and language appears in the classroom wearing a pink tutu with little bells, beautiful hats and magic wand. She represents Alehop, a character who comes from the Fantasy Land to help the kids learn Spanish.
This program aims to:
- Enhance the learning of Spanish from an early age during the first school cycle (2 cycle of nursery education) because according to theories during this age, children’s brain is more plastic and open to learn languages.
- Create a stimulating real and natural linguistic atmosphere since a real context is the best way to interact and learn languages since childhood.
- Create authentic contexts where languages are a vehicle of communication not only a way to transfer knowledge.
- Utilize universal icons such as magic, fairy tales, imagination as tools to create a communicative atmosphere for the learning of languages according to theories that point the importance of affective and emotional variables for second language acquisition on behalf of individual intelligence.
- Enrich the school context, as the main tool for knowledge acquisition and an instrument to avoid social exclusion.
- Evaluate in progress to determine the evolution and impact of the program to improve its development.
The lack of practices and projects to facilitate the learning of Spanish at an early age, made the coordinator of this Project to plan a program for the second cycle of nursery education and the first cycle of Primary based on the A1 and A2 levels of the European framework of languages and following statements:
a. Create a safe and comfortable space of communication.
b. Utilize universal icons to help children communicate in Spanish.
c. Take advantage of daily school situations to teach a second language.
d. Include and normalize different levels of language through several ways in a simultaneous mode.
Results show how the improvement of the language acquisition for most students:
EVALUATION ACCORDING TO LEVELS A1 Y A2
1º E.P. 2º E.P.
START 31,7% 36,8% 31,5% 29,4% 36,9% 33,8%
END 11,3 % 21,1 % 67,6 % 8,3 % 17,8 % 73,8 %
Red color shows students who still need help.
- 2010. Award to Acción Magistral
- 2011. European label
- 2010. Conference at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
- 2011. Article “Una lucha contra la exclusión de la infancia”, Revista Cuadernos de Pedagogía.
- 2011. Workshop at Universidad de Granada.
- 2012. PhD at Departamento de Didáctica y Organización Escolar de la Universidad de Granada: “La construcción de la infancia de origen amazigh en la escuela. Estudio de caso en la ciudad de Melilla”.
In the mass media:
- 2010 Interview with Fundación de Ayuda contra la drogadicción (FAD).
- 2010 Report in a few teaching magazines.
- 2010 Interview in Punto Radio
The award has helped to share the Project with the local teaching community in a crisis context where these types of programs are scarce. This award has helped other language teacher to be aware of the importance of this kind of initiative for the learning/teaching of languages.
To teach languages using global methods able to react to universal needs. To motivate teachers to keep transferring knowledge from a enriching perspective.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
Foreign students often come to local communities with limited proficiency in the national or regional language.
Communities need to help these groups access services and ensure their smooth
integration in the life of their neighbourhood. This can be achieved by initiatives such as Alehop.
Alehop excels in catering for the
language-related needs of the various linguistic groups and fostering
communication between them and the host community.
Comments on this Case Studies