THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The information for this case study was collected during an interview with Mariana Hudrea, project coordinator of the TOEIC Camp Europe Project.
Ms. Hudrea considered a TOEIC summer camp would be very useful for teenagers, as TOEIC is one of the most recommended English proficiency tests, first designed for people engaged in international business and proven to be so reliable that it is now used for academic admissions.
The summer camp study programme was designed to:
- present the required format of the TOEIC test,
- allow the participants to practice taking the TOEIC test using sample and practiced tests,
- improve their overall vocabulary, listening skill and confidence in speaking English to native English speakers,
- allow the students to take the TOEIC test if they wished to and obtain TOEIC certification.
The aims of the conversation topics were to:
- learn how to introduce themselves in a group situation,
- get to know their fellow students,
- mix with the other students and form study groups, make decisions for and by themselves,
- encourage students to speak freely without worry or embarrassment in a non classroom atmosphere, cope with shyness, making mistakes and speaking out aloud.
- enable the tutor to gauge overall English language ability,
- promote reading skills,comprehension and understanding,
- improve pronunciation and intonation,
- encourage the sharing of ideas, encouraging other group members, thinking in a foreign language and decision making.
- introduce a different accent and language form(American English) to the students,
- build confidence in communications with native English speakers,
- encourage formulation of ideas and concepts in English.
1.The TOEIC preparation, which lasted all week, consisted in guidance and practice tests on the TOEIC procedure and format. Guidance was given on the best way to approach the test and the best way to achieve a good score.
2. In the afternoon there were organized cultural activities including the following topics:
a. Getting to Know You
c. Library Visit and Quiz
d. Writing Exercise
e. Trip Diary
f. Discussion about Trip
The course was attended by 50 participants from all over Romania, with different language capabilities, ages and backgrounds, 30 of which applied for the TOEIC Test and got the TOEIC Certificate. Some of them used the certificate for University admission in Romania or other European countries.
Overall the students’ feedback was very positive for both the TOEIC preparation topics and the conversation topics; the students enjoyed the relaxed and open format adopted. They generally considered that they had been able to improve their communication skills, with the emphasis on gaining confidence in speaking and understanding English. Most of the students had a positive reason for attending the TOEIC camp: obtaining the certificate, improving their conversation skills, as well as their overall understanding of English, while others saw the camp as a holiday activity, but became more positive toward the camp at the end. Some of the students came with their English teachers, and the atmosphere proved very positive in terms of the overall relationships with the students and tutors.
The project coordinator considered the project was worth being evaluated by a commission and they were very happy to receive the European label 2008.
For that they decide to fill in the application form.
They sent it to the Romanian National Agency in due time and then they participated in the award ceremony and they took the opportunity to present their project to the audience.
The success of the project was presented in the local newspapers and local TV channels. The project coordinator also presented the project in the professional meetings of teachers of English and they recommended their colleagues to apply for this certificate, which actually happened in the following years.
The project coordinator considers the ELL an international recognition of their activities. The project was presented on the site of the European Commission, which offered them international visibility.
The participation in the award ceremony offered the opportunity both to find out about other successful projects and present their own project. They also received a photo camera which was then successfully used for presenting their future projects.
The project coordinator advises all coordinators of language projects to apply for the ELL just to get an external evaluation and recognition of their work.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The NELLIP Network selected the TOEIC Camp Europe project because of its consistency with the political priorities of the European Commission in the field of language learning. In particular, the TOEIC Camp Europe project has been chosen because it contributes to the enhancement of quality of language learning with a view to formal testing, in informal and non-formal environments through different types of language learning activities.
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