THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for the Case Study was collected during an interview with Giuseppe Giordani, coordinator with Paola Berbeglia of the “LALERA” project at the “Centro Informazione e Educazione allo Sviluppo – CIES” of Rome, Italy.
The background of the “LALERA” project is represented by a the cooperation between CIES and the “Università per Stranieri” of Siena. CIES deals with cultural and linguistic mediation. The main addresses of its activities are foreign people living in Italy for personal or professional reasons. Among them, in the last years, the number of Romanian home healthcare nurses has enormously increased, representing an important target group for activities aimed to improve their linguistic skills. A specific target group, indeed, with a full-time work. How and when could CIES help those people? Using an innovative approach to teaching a foreign language through an “old” media, the radio.
The project target group is composed by Romanian home healthcare nurses, already moved to Italy or who intend to move to Italy.
The project target languages are Italian and Romanian.
The Lalera project aims to produce new teaching material and educative approaches through the use of a traditional mass media, the radio, in order to improve the linguistic skills of the target groups and to conciliate their lack of time. Other objectives are: establishing a theoretical paradigm of linguistic training addressed to experts, teachers and institutions of language training, creating a new educative prototype, according to the “learning by listening” practice.
The “LALERA” project has been realised on the model of a previous initiative. The first step has been represented by the detection of a practical need and the search for a possible solution. Secondly, the networking and the first contacts with some SMEs (Lynx, dealing with electronic publishing and e-learning, and PubliMedia), Universities (“Siena Foreign University”) and technical partners (ICoN and Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation). Finally, the creation of a radio broadcast in two phases: a first phase in the native country of the workforce, a second phase in the country where the workforce is active.
The main result of the “LALERA” project is the realization of a radio broadcast prototype with an educative intent. Such a medium combines moments of one-directional speech with moments when the listener takes over and “directs” the conversation towards personal needs. In addition, these elements enable learners involved in this training scheme to supplement the information provided during the programme with further didactic material and thus access both oral and written texts. The addresses’ feedback was positive in relation to the innovative approach and the materials produced.
“CIES”, the “LALERA” project promoter, decided to submit the application for the European Language Label on ISFOL’s advice.
Even if the candidature was not associated to a specific objective, the project had the possibility to be spread at European level and be immediately recognised in terms of quality and innovation.
Once acquired a European visibility, it was necessary to focus on the local and national level. The dissemination was realised using the logo of the European Language Label as main promotional tool. An official statement, reporting the Label logo, was released by CIES and reported by local free press.
The Label benefices on the “LALERA” project are strictly motivational. The award of the Label acted as a spring on the project promoter, which felt more confident in its means and had the possibility to establish new important contacts with transnational partners, for example the “Universidad de Sevilla”, which participated to the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation “LALERA TOI” project.
The Label also allowed the use of the project in further activities and initiatives. In particular, the radio broadcast was used in a social and sanitary project realized within the Province of Rome. The project, called after “Donne e famiglie neo-comunitarie in emigrazione, salute, maternità e cultura” was realized by the CreA association in collaboration with ASL RMG and funded by the Provincial Administration of Rome. The broadcast was used as system of self-learning: 10 Romanian women participated to the broadcast and discussed the role of the language as main tool of personal growth and integration.
In order to develop a quality project in the field of Language learning, the “CIES” advices to focus on some specific elements of the project, first of all the innovation and the transferability.
According to the project promoter, it is necessary to use the channels offered by the European Commission in order to exploit the award of the Label. Such an important recognition is not well known in Italy, but has an important diffusion in other European countries. For this reason, it can be “exploited” in order to create new positive transnational partnerships.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the “LALERA” project for its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, the “LALERA” project focuses on specific purposes, in the attempt to overcome the difficulties of a defined target. Dealing so specifically with its target is not just a learning activity, it is the validation of cultural models, promoting new approaches to language teaching and learning.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
According to ISFOL, the LALERA project is to be selected both as a case study and as an Italian Best Practice.
First of all, the project is innovative for its idea to use the radio as main tool for learning Italian addressed to a specific target, the Romanian home healthcare nurses, with a full-time work in Italy. The learning method consists in learning by listening to the radio. Therefore, the Romanian home healthcare nurses can listen and learn during their work activities.
The contents of the learning units have the aim to provide the target group with specific language skills necessary to carry out their tasks at work, for example shopping, cooking, health care provision, etc.
The project also uses an additional tool, the free press, containing language exercises. This way, the Romanian home healthcare nurses can take advantages of the moments of pause (displacements, lunch breaks, etc.) to improve their linguistic skills.
In addition, thanks to the transnational partnership, it was possible to create a positive exchange between the “University of Bucharest” and the “Università per Stranieri” of Siena: this exchange allowed the “University of Bucharest” to approach innovative methods in Italian language teaching.
Another strength is represented by the transferability of the project, which was originally realized in 2008 and then developed in the “LALERA TOI” initiative. In the framework of the LALERA TOI project a new language has been introduced, i.e. Spanish. Both projects are still active and widely used, with positive results from a social point of view, and for their inclusive impact.
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