THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The Language Institute of the Austrian Federal Army is in charge of ensuring the language interoperability of the employees of the Federal Army and the Federal Defence Ministry and Sport (BMLVS). As a result, the Language Institute is carrying out a multitude of projects to fulfil this requirement.
The Language Institute’s main competence lies in teaching the special language needed by the military staff in military operations and has developed specific activities accordingly, such as: teaching terminology, language development, evaluation of language competences.
The target languages are divided according to needs and functions, for example:
- Languages that are used for command and work (German, English, French )
- Information languages (Persian, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic or Chinese)
- Languages taught to the military diplomatic personnel through specific methods, often taught in one-to-one classes and with contents that would include the training of intercultural competences, etc.
To enhance the military staff's communication competences in various languages (depending on needs and functions), for successful international cooperation.
To this end, objectives included offering to military staff both general language courses and language courses for specific purposes, designed and conducted in line with the CEFR-approach to training, learning and assessment.
The CEFR-based approach has been introduced in the course planning phase, as well as in training and assessment. All language courses and related activities have been assessed and evaluated consistently.
The language courses themselves and the improved language competences of military staff are the main project outcomes.
Over a span of ten years, 70% of the army personnel attended language courses, which helped them attain level B1.2 on the CEFR Common Scale of Reference Levels; The general level of English of army officers was enhanced from B2 to C1, i.e. C1.2 during the last years; in addition, starting with 2007, staff with migration background were enrolled on German courses.
Language courses and training projects have undergone ongoing assessment, and, in addition, depending on their length, they were evaluated also at the end.
The application for innovative language projects 2009 fitted the annual focus on “Language Learning for the Workplace”.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The project is consistent with the current European policies. It aims at promoting language learning for specific purposes, i.e the specific language skills needed by army employees in military operations. It also focuses on evaluation of performance in the field of language teaching and learning.
The project is consistent with the European, National and yearly priorities. In particular, it addressed the annual focus on language learning for the workplace.
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