THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
•DESCRIPTION OF THE CONTEXT AND OF THE NEEDS THE INITIATIVE RESPONDS TO:
The project aimed to increase the number of Year 9 students in local partner schools taking a language to GCSE level. It was aimed at promising linguists to allow them to see both that language is a transferable skill and that it can be learnt in a fun and practical situation.
•REASONS FOR SELECTING THE SPECIFIC THEMATIC AREA, TARGET GROUP AND TARGET LANGUAGE(S):
There are declining numbers of students taking a language to GCSE in all of the College’s partner 11-16 schools.
1.To increase take up of languages to GCSE
2.Encourage able linguists to see languages as a transferable skill
3.Languages allow you to have fun!
4.Project should be fully transferable.
•APPROACH ADOPTED IN THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INITIATIVE:
Collaborative approach with Forest 14-19 partnership and our local partner schools, together with the Forest Business Partnership. The College took the lead in this. When funding was obtained from the Links into Languages project they took a part in the development of the project through advice and monitoring.
•PROJECT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND APPROACH ADOPTED - IDENTIFICATION OF STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THIS: Managed by Royal Forest of Dean College (now a campus of Gloucestershire College), who also coordinated the language teaching.
•STRATEGIES USED FOR FOSTERING LEARNER MOTIVATION: Emphasis on being selected for the project because of learners’ motivation to learn a language. Involvement of celebrity chef, Franco Taruschio to lead the cooking side of the project, language qualification to be gained by end of project (NVQ level 1 in Italian).
•SYSTEM OF PROJECT EVALUATION USED: Questionnaires to learners, schools and other partners. Evaluation by the Links into Languages project who were funding the project.
•OUTCOMES AND ‘DELIVERABLES’ PRODUCED: All students completed the course and obtained the full NVQ languages qualification. They also obtained a certificate in Health and Safety from the college catering staff and cooked a three course meal for 75 people (parents and guests) under the aegis of Franco Taruschio. The project also published a cookbook (funded by Links into Languages) which was not part of the original aims.
•CONSISTENCY OF THE OUTCOMES WITH INITIAL PLANS AND WITH THE EXPECTATION OF THE END USERS: All our original objectives were achieved by the participants and thanks to winning the Mary Glasgow 14-19 prize for Curriculum innovation we were able to take them to Loreto, Italy in October 2011. We also published a project cookbook.
•WAS AN ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF THE OUTCOMES CARRIED OUT? IF SO, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING INDICATORS WERE USED?
o Originality and innovative aspects of the outcomes - Yes
o Potential transferability of the initiative - Yes
o Impact of the project - Yes
•MOTIVATIONS LEADING TO THE APPLICATION FOR THE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE LABEL:
1. To obtain increased recognition of an innovative and transferable project.
2. To raise the profile of language learning in the area and nationally.
•PROCEDURE USED FOR APPLYING FOR THE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE LABEL:
•INITIAL EXPECTATIONS (WERE THE INITIAL EXPECTATIONS MET?):
Gaining the Label has increased recognition and profile of the project as we hoped.
• The project obtained a great deal of local publicity both for College and partner schools.
• We have run a second project – Cucina due in Autumn 2011/June 2012 with a second batch of year 9 students.
•BENEFITS FOR THE INITIATIVE AND THE ORGANISATION(S) INVOLVED OF HAVING BEEN AWARDED THE ELL:
Being able to use the logo on college documentation has increased profile of college and project and status of languages.
•IMPACT OF THE INITIATIVE FOLLOWING THE AWARD OF THE ELL:
We have been able to run a second project and have set up a local languages network for language teachers across Gloucestershire. We have also become a centre for language teachers’ CPD.
ADVICE ON HOW TO PLAN AND DEVELOP QUALITY LANGUAGE LEARNING INITIATIVES THAT CAN EXPECT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR APPLICATION FOR THE ELL.
The project needs to be fun, motivating and replicable.
ADVICE ON HOW TO EXPLOIT THE AWARD FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INITIATIVE
Ensure that the Label logo is used on all college documentation and that the award of the ELL is well publicised
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
EU language policies aim to protect linguistic diversity and promote knowledge of languages – for reasons of cultural identity and social integration, but also because multilingual citizens are better placed to take advantage of the educational, professional and economic opportunities created by an integrated Europe. The goal is a Europe where everyone can speak at least two other languages in addition to their own mother tongue". This project supported these policies through its success in strengtheing motivation at a critical stage of schooling and by the international and multilingual nature of the subject matter.
EU priorities for 2010-2011 were: a)language learning in the community and b) language skills as preparation for work. This project was especially supportive of the second priority, showing the potential connectino between Italian and the wortld of work (and leisure) but also promoted languag learning in a manner that was motivating and relevant to youngsters across the community.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPRESSIVE ASPECTS OF THIS PROJECT ?
• Learners achieved a full Level 1 NVQ qualification in Italian in 6 months, ie they achieved in all 4 skills
• Assessment was work-based in the true spirit of NVQs; learners were observed and assessed in listening and speaking whilst working in the kitchen (NB reading and writing were assessed outside of the kitchen but based on the authentic use of language in a catering setting)
• Practicality and authenticity of language use
• Whilst increased flexibility programmes are common in FE (school children going into college to study a vocational course) there are few, if any, examples of children learning a language on such programmes
• The enthusiasm that learners had for learning a language in this way compared to a more traditional approach
HOW DOES THE PROJECT MEET THE JUDGING CRITERIA?
• Innovative: i) Learning and using language through the teaching of cookery in an FE setting. Although there are examples of schools using the topic of food to teach languages, it is the application of languages to teaching within a practical working environment that is innovative, ii) assessment of language skills in a work setting (languages are usually assessed in simulated settings)
• Replicable: i) The language used is simple and easy to replicate, for example learning vocabulary for food and kitchen utensils as well as instructions. Ii) Materials have been created which can be shared; iii) many colleges and schools have teaching kitchens and if there was collaboration with the languages department, this model could easily be replicated
• Effective: i) Learners’ enthusiasm for learning a language in this way was palpable; 13/16 learners chose to go on to learn a different language in year 10 due to the enthusiasm they gained from learning Italian on this project (it would have been 14/16 but the school was unable to accommodate this); ii) the project ethos was shared with teachers of other languages within the schools involved and some methods from the course have started to be replicated; iii) learners’ achievement of a full level 1 within 6 months is impressive and demonstrates sound language learning and motivation, iv) because of the success of the Italian course, the college will now offer Italian to all schools in the Forest of Dean area as an increased flexibility programme, v) the success of the project has encouraged the college to offer the course again to year 8s from this September.
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