THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Based on an interview with Birthe Lindvall.
The teachers of Swedish as a second language for illiterate students in Landskrona wanted to make the most out of the education provided as well as working in the direction of current research on analphabetism. They started cooperating with a school in Malmö and learned about different ways of working on the subject matter. One of the aspects that they took notice of was how the teachers of mother tongue were involved in the teaching of Swedish.
The teachers from Landskrona used that information, but they wanted to teach Swedish and the mother tongue at the same time. They designed a project called ALFA – an alphabetization project. There the students worked with pictures from field trips to the museum or to the theatre that they had taken themselves. They produced texts together around the pictures in both Swedish and in the mother tongue. In the classroom there were two teachers, one teacher of mother tongue and one teacher of Swedish.
The aims of this project were for students to gain literacy in Swedish at the same time as in their mother tongue. It has been scientifically proven that people who have the foundations of reading and writing in their mother tongue have an easier time learning a new language. For the students to gain independence in society and equality was another objective.
Komvux Landskrona had gained funding to be able to offer this project. The teachers visited many different countries to learn about the ways of teaching in, for example, Tunisia, Syria and Kosovo. The visits to countries occurred before and during this project.
The teachers invested in digital cameras so that each visit to a new place in Landskrona could be documented by the students.
The results were above expectations, one teacher reported. The students in her class had written letters, taken part of chatting and using the computer to get closer to friends and family in other countries. The feedback from the students was on going and positive.
These classes also offered a greater insight to the society as a whole and the students also attained self-confidence from these experiences.
They applied for the ELL because their principal, at that time, encouraged them to do so. The principal had witnessed the positive results and the accomplishments of the students and wanted them to spread their way pf working.
The national bureau for development in schools contacted the teachers in Landskrona and they were invited to give many lectures around Sweden and neighboring countries around alphabetization.
The team around this project were very happy to get the ELL. Their subject became more popular and the status of it became greater. People at the school took notice and became interested. Besides that, they also got appreciation from other parts of the country.
Plan you project carefully. Be prepared to answer questions around why, how, when and to motivate your reasons.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
This is a project with a clear transferability. It is applicable in any language in any country. It is a project that we find very interesting.
The following guidelines fit in with this project:
1. Comprehensive approach. Every element of the language initiative should ensure that the needs of the students are identified and met.
2. Added value. Initiatives should provide a tangible improvement in the teaching and learning of languages in their national context.
3. Motivation enhancement. Initiatives should motivate the students and teachers to improve their language skills.
4. Innovation. Initiatives should be original and creative. They should introduce previously unknown approaches to language learning.
5. European emphasis. Initiatives should be adapted to Europe's linguistic diversity and make use of this advantage.
6. Transferability. Initiatives should potentially be a source of inspiration for other language projects in different countries.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
The alphabetization project in Landskrona is aimed at students attaining literacy skills in the mother tongue as well as in Swedish. In the project the aestetic field, different aspects of the society, visits to the library and museums are also included.
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