THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The creator of the project, Britta Wiström went to a pilot education programme given by the Swedish national agency, Skolverket about 15 years ago. The aim of the education programme was to increase the interest of learning languages in students. With that background Wiström created a teaching model.
The goals were that this model of teaching and working would enable students to use strategies to develop their language learning. With this model the students can reduce the amount of homework, support and assist classmates’ learning and also learn about the social perspective of the Swedish schools. One other aspect is that the student can change their learning style.
Other aspects that were the objectives of this project were to reduce the amount of drop-outs in language classes. The method allows learning to go from being a solely individual experience to working around assignments and learning styles in groups.
This project has its foundation in research on learning, something Wiström studied for a long time within the framework of Skolverket’s Language Pilots. She showed the model to her students and asked if they would be interested in trying it out and they were very interested in that.
Together with her students, Wiberg plans a work area that lasts about three weeks. After that she describes the work plan and informs about the group writing assignment at the end of three weeks. (short term goal). The teacher also informs about the meta and socio-cognitive aspects of the group writing assignment.
After two group writings, an individual written assignment that is based on the previous two group writings is produced. This gives students opportunity to learn from each other and to share their knowledge and skills in a certain area. It is important that students see the big picture and the relationship of group writing and individual writing.
This method provides the students with writing skills, cooperation, a chance to learn from each other and also to use earlier material and re-writing it so that it becomes more and more in depth and detailed.
The results are based on Wiströms feedback and results from her students. They have reported that they experience more varied ways of working, that they have reduced the amount of homework and that they feel inspired by being part of something which is linked to research on learning. They also report that the quality of teaching has improved.
When the new national curriculum was created for language teaching, the creators of it visited Britta Wiström to observe her teaching. She has also participated in ELL conferences and held information speeches on several occasions.
Wiström reports that she has been met by respect for her knowledge around learning styles, pedagogic research and contribution on method. She has also been increasingly motivated by improving her teaching model.
Projects should have a basis in research. You have to try your material or teaching method for a long time so that you can make improvements before applying for the ELL.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
This project was very interesting to learn more about since it is an original, research based project that helps motivating students and increase their success in language studies. It is transversal, so this method can be applied to all languages as well as other subject. The project focuses on peer-reviewing and collaboration around tasks, which is an interesting approach to language learning.
Comprehensive approach. Every element of the language initiative should ensure that the needs of the students are identified and met.
Added value. Initiatives should provide a tangible improvement in the teaching and learning of languages in their national context.
Motivation enhancement. This project reports to motivating the students and teachers to improve their language skills.
Innovation. This project is original and creative. It introduces previously unknown approaches to language learning.
Transferability. This project can be an inspiration for other language projects in different countries
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
This project received the ELL award because the core values are included in language teaching and to students find that the language teaching can brighten up an entire workday.
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