THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The project was initiated to create interesting and motivating opportunities to achieve the goals for foreign language studies. These goals include increasing the students’ ability of communicating, developing conversational skills and learn how to express their own ideas in a foreign language. The Language Café project provides an opportunity to meet the pupils at an individual level. The pupils get the chance to speak at a level which they find comfortable and also around topics they find interesting.
Fågelskolan has worked with the Language Café project since 2003 and found it very rewarding. The school has a high level of goal achievement in foreign languages. One thesis is that the Language Cafés have contributed to develop the pupils’ well working conversational skills.
The pupils have the opportunity of practising the foreign language they learn talking to native speakers.
The pupils get inspired, motivated and acquire self-confidence when they are able to talk to students in a foreign language and experience that they are able to communicate around different topics.
The pupils learn to use strategies to overcome language barriers and develop their communication skills
Both pupils and students gain from the mutual exchange of knowledge.
Pupils and students widen their perspectives on the world and develop understanding of different codes and cultures
When the international students arrive the language teachers bring a few pupils to the information market and inform the students about the project. The teachers invite the students to the school six times per semester to participate in the language cafés.
The language cafés are normally held on the language lessons and last for about an hour. The conversations are held in small groups of pupils that chat with international students in a relaxed atmosphere.
At the school cafeteria where the language cafés are held we serve coffee and homemade Swedish pastries baked by our pupils.
In the 8th grade (aged 14) the pupils speak English with students from all over the world.
In the 9th grade (aged 15) the conversation is in French, German and Spanish, the languages taught at our school. The teachers prepare and follow up during language lessons
The project has been on-going since 2003, which is soon 10 years. The goal of increasing skills in communication is met each semester. The achievement is measured both regarding grades and also redarding drop-outs from language classes, the latter has been reduced since the project started.
Teachers at Fågelskolan were informed of the ELL and found it utterly interesting to apply for and present the project. Applications were sent to the national agency and later the school was informed that they were one of the winners.
The language teachers of Fågelskolan have participated in several national and international conferences to present the project. Some examples are conferences in Tallinn and Florence and national conferences in Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Kalmar and Umeå.
Fågelskolan was also invited to the Nellip project as a result of the ELL and the international conferences.
Other schools in Sweden have implemented the idea.
The ELL has meant a lot to Fågelskolan. To be able to present the Language Cafés around Sweden and also internationally has produced many new contacts both national and international.
We consider it very important to shed light on the pedagogical work carried out within the project. To bring forward examples, both extensive and not, that make a difference for teachers as well as students. For the teachers and students alike an award creates recognition for the teaching method applied.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The project was selected by the national agency.
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
Fågelskolan invites multilingual students from Lund University to language cafés. Learning situations are created where pupils can develop their ability to participate in discussions, express their thoughts and understand the information given to them in German, French or Spanish. The pupils' perspectives on the world and other cultures are increased.
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