THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Globalization and regionalization trends at the beginning of the 21st century present new challenges for the economy globally, while the eastward expansion of the EU has created new business opportunities for Austria and other Central European countries. Hence the need for adequately qualified employees, who, in addition to a solid business background, also have sufficient know-how regarding the specific cultural aspects and socio-economic conditions in the inter-regional business environment of Central Eastern and South East Europe (CEE). The University of Applied Sciences Carinthia (Kärnten) in Austria has introduced an English-medium International Business Management Masters' programme to addresse this need. The "Work global, Speak local!" project focuses on the development of language competencies in less widely taught languages, esp. the languages in „South East and Central Europe (SECE)“. It encourages both plurilingualism and the development of multicultural awareness, through a combination of methodological approaches.
The main aims include:
- promoting multilingualism through the teaching / learning of languages, with a focus on the South Eastern and Central European region;
- motivating students to learn languages and encouraging them to develop intercultural competences;
- promoting mobility, with a view to enhancing the students' future career opportunities in an international work environment;
- promoting positive attitudes to plurilingualism and cultural diversity, while ensuring the students' developing an in-depth understanding of other cultures.
The innovative dimension of this project encompasses aspects such as: the language programme offered over 4 semesters; the methodological approach (blended learning, including the use of social media, of the platform „Sprachtandem Management Languages @ CUAS“, creating opportunities for exchanges among students of various linguistic and cultural backgrounds); the transdisciplinary curriculum, aimed at developing integrated competences, combining content-oriented subjects with language and culture-learning. For Quality Assurance purposes, professional development workshops address economic issues combined with a language and socio-cultural focus.
At the end of 2010, 23 students had successfully completed the IBM master's program, the language skills programme (in Italian, Slovenian, Russian or German as a Foreign Language) at B2 level. At the moment of applying for the ELL, there were further other 36 students in training. Another deliverable within this programme is also the development of an 'internal Sprachdiplom'.
The dual focus on multilingualism and intercultural competence development, combined with the work-related concern for improving international work mobility and complex professional expertise in the field of international business management.
The successful continuation of this English medium masters' programme, with its complex profile, with a focus on integrated competences; its active web site and the development of networks and partnerships.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
• enhancement of quality in language teaching
• focus on evaluation of performance of language teaching and learning
• focus on teacher training
• promotion of new approaches to language teaching and learning
• promotion of multilingualism
• promotion of recognition and validation of language skills acquired through non formal and informal education
• promotion of the development of teaching material for the learning of less widely spoken languages
- promoting plurilingualism in the world of work and, through this, enhancing career opportunities;
- promoting quality communication in professional environments;
- geographical focus on the South-East and Central Europe region
- provides inspiration and a model of best practice for other multicultural environments.
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