THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Although our students like the English language, they sometimes have difficulties in expressing themselves and are too shy to show their feelings to the others. We try to help them improve their language skills, strengthen their self-esteem and trust their creative power and imagination. We try to diversify the thematic areas to meet the students’ interests and different age groups. Why English? Well, it’s a global language. It’s the language of music, of films, of the net. It’s the language of communication.
• Develop new strategies of foreign language learning,
• Promote success in foreign language learning,
• Improve creative writing skills,
• Develop poetry writing and reading skills,
• Motivate students to acquire reading habits.
We suggest topics on which the students develop their language skills, collect the works produced, evaluate the quality of the results and select the best works as far as language skills and creativity are concerned. The amount and quality of the works produced tell us whether we should keep the same thematic area or introduce new ones. “The Open Window” has been the only recurrent topic since the first publication.
The fact that some of their works are going to be published is an incentive for the students’ creativity. They also give voice to some of the works done by reading and make them known in the Book Fair organized by the school. The recognition of their talent improves their self-esteem and gives them the motivation to keep writing.
Every two years an illustrated book is published, sold inside and outside school, offered to other schools and teaching organizations. The feedback given to us by those who read the book is essential to our self-evaluation. The presence of parents and local authorities in the Book Fair is a strong motivation for everybody. The fact that this project has existed for 13 years is undeniably important both to us (coordinators of the project) and to our students. We try to involve in our project all the students interested in reading and writing and also those who have artistic skills, because due to them all the stories and poems are illustrated accordingly.
This initiative can be transferred to the teaching process of any other foreign language.
The application for the European Label was a test to us. We wanted to ensure we were walking along the right path. Therefore, the award of the ELL was the recognition of our work and a motivation to continue the project.
In order to let the initiative become known beyond the school area, the books published have been offered to other schools and teaching organizations. We also had articles about the project published in magazines of language teaching and the description of the project was also published online by a national editor.
The award of the ELL was an incentive to pursue our goals and try to find new ways of motivating our students.
New and innovative ways of motivating students to learn foreign languages should be found and implemented, which is always an advantage when it comes to applying for the ELL.
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