THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Students and school community of the CEIP Pedro de Valdivia, teachers, families and society of Castuera and the Serena Area.
This initiative is based on the idea of offering an innovative curriculum that makes the offer more attractive to the students and their families being based on the motivation and using the foreign language as real vehicle of communication.
The starting point is the conception of the education as fundamental part of the process of socialization of the individuals and, consequently, of the acquisition of values, attitudes and guidelines of conduct. The germ of the great project is the bilingual section (English) that was created in the center the school year 2004-2005, in that the English language is in use as traffic language for giving some of the contents, concretely in the areas of Science and Art and Crafts.
Pedro de Valdivia Primary School was one of five schools of primary with bilingual section in the region and the only one in rural zone. This bilingual section stimulated a series of key activities. The integration of diverse programs related to the languages turns the project into an application of diverse initiatives and with global vision directed to obtaining a major performance in the communicative competence.
Though the axis is the learning of languages, the project goes far beyond, since the collaboration and the work of all the members of the educational community in the process of education - learning provide a more wide and deep vision of the reality, and they are the key of the success of this initiative.
- To increase the motivation of the students when learning English, with possibilities of extension of the project to the French and to the Portuguese as the second language.
- To obtain the participation of the families in the process.
- To promote the use of the foreign languages out of the school context with cultural and playful purposes.
- To favour the contact with other cultures and forms of life, process that one has benefited very much with the participation of the school center in a Comenius project, in which it works with Italy, Romania and Denmark schools.
- To obtain a substantial improvement in the communicative competence, a very important aspect for students of rural environment, since for them this one is the only opportunity to have contact with other languages.
The innovative essential aspect of this project is that, though it is based on the foreign languages, it has wider aims, and not only it centres on the professorship and the pupils, but it tries to create a wider vision. The families and the society of the village are last aims of the project. The intention is to create a special "microclimate" about the school in which the whole school community estimates the importance of learning foreign languages, the knowledge of other cultures and countries and acquires a more practical vision of the process of education - learning. All this, with an only aim: the motivation of the student.
Beyond the knowledge of the language and its use of communicative form, the results centre on a series of essential, such aspects as the motivation of the pupils and their evolutionary development based on their autonomy and on the promotion of the confidence in themselves. In the same way, it is promoted a vision more opened of the students and of their families towards the languages and towards other cultures. The originality of the project is based on it is global and involves to all the educational areas (administration, professorship, students, families and society in general). The experience has been presented to other companions of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura and of other communities like Andalusia, Asturias and Galicia.
We don´t really know what are the aspects the Commission take into account to decide to give us the European Language Label. Perhaps the big group of activities with the learning of a foreign language from a Communicative Approach with not only students but all the school community (teachers, families,…etc). Perhaps because we are working in a rural area and we have more difficulties to create our “micro climate” of teaching with the importance to the teaching of foreign languages and cultures.
After the award the school continues working with the same aims. It has been easier to work from then. Portfolio and projects like e-twinning are two examples and activities related to our Bilingual Section and the learning of foreign languages with a communicative vision are the main aims of the school.
We are teaching Portuguese in the afternoon activities for the last three years.
We could give many examples of the impact of the European Language Label in the school, but we can summary with a simple word: MOTIVATION. Motivations of teachers, students, families,…all the members of our work. The relationship between all of them is something that makes easier the projects and the nasty administrative work of the projects and activities.
The most important aspects for future applicants are that they should try to apply when they believe in what they are doing. This enthusiastic work and the work of children can show how a good work is being developed in a school. The most important part isn’t the European Language Label, but the idea of the teaching task and how we must work with languages. Getting a European Language Label is not easy, but we don’t usually rely on our working and there are many schools and institutions working on really nice projects and ideas. We should have a different idea about sharing our activities and projects. We can learn a lot from our neighbours.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the “Fomento de las Lenguas desde una Perspective Global” project for its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, promotion awareness of other cultures and raising motivation to learn.
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