THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for the Case Study was collected during an interview with Marie Le Gac, teacher at the “Cousteau” Collège of Séné. Marie Le Gac represents the promoting institution of the “Sport is fun” project.
The background of the “Sport is fun” project is based on the attempt to relaunch the English language through the sport. French students usually consider English as an annoying and useless subject. Linking a “boring” subject to an interesting practice like sport means to promote the teaching process and to obtain a greater participation of the students. Based on this idea, the “Sport is fun” project allows students to study and practice typical British sports (baseball, cricket,…) using the English language as unique tool of communication.
The project target groups are students attending the European classes of the “Cousteau” College of Séné.
The project target language is English.
The “Sport is fun” project has the objective to develop the oral practice of the English language. French students have few occasions to practice the oral dimension. Thanks to this project, they are obliged to speak in English in order to study the rules of the game with their English teacher and in order to practice it under the assistance of their Physical Education teachers. This oral practice is implemented through an added spinoff, 10 days of courses and physical activities at the golf club of Exeter (England).
The “Sport is fun” project is the main result of a positive collaboration among the headmaster, the didactic bureau, the Physical Education teachers (who created this specific section) and the English teachers (who gave an important linguistic contribution to the project). The “natural” link within this collaboration is represented by the conviction that a “learning by doing” method may be the best one in order to overcome the difficulties students usually meet approaching a foreign language.
The success of the project is in its numbers: for the first edition of the initiative, 60 students submitted their application; the second edition obtained 80 candidatures, obliging teachers to make a selection. Students are really excited to participate to the project and are strongly supported by their parents. According to these data, next editions of the “Sport is fun” project will obtain a substantial increase.
“Cousteau” Collège of Séné, the “Sport is fun” project promoter, decided to submit the application for the European Language Label with the aim to officialise one of the activities carried out by the institute.
The results confirmed the positive candidature of the “Cousteau” Collège of Séné because the image of the institute obtained a deep improvement after having received the Label. The augmented number of inscriptions to this specific section is the most tangible sign of the qualitative visibility it obtained thanks to the Label.
The institution used the Logo for the external (website, official documents) and internal communication (newsletter and mailing list of the school). Finally, the local press received an official communication about the award received by the institute.
The satisfaction of the teachers and the recognition of a long-term activity: those are, according to Marie Le Gac, the most evident benefices school received after awarding the European Langage label. Public institutions do non need to obtain a commercial return on investment, but their image is fundamental to promote further activities. And the European Language label may guarantee a positive “return on image”.
In order to develop a quality project in the field of Language learning, the “Cousteau” Collège of Séné advices to strongly believe in the project: this is the only way to obtain an international recognition.
According to Marie Le Gac, the European language Label should be disseminated as a qualitative prize, not as a commercial objective. To commercialize the Label means to blow the high credibility level it acquired during the last years.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the “Sport is fun” project for its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, the “Sport is fun” project promotes an innovative and practical approach to language teaching and learning. This innovative approach guarantees a high level of motivation and participation of the students, enhancing the quality of their performances. Also, the project supports the mobility of the students through the organization of transnational exchanges and the participation of the students to language courses attended abroad.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
The project was selected as case study by the French National Agency “Europe-Education-Formation”.
According to the French evaluator, as stated in the “Label des Labels – 10 ans de projets” publication, this is an innovative project which lays its success on a multidisciplinary approach and an original idea, using sport as a tool of language teaching. In addition, the project can count on the solid experience of the project promoter.
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