THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The language teachers at the Hotel and Restaurant programme in Nyköping thought that it would benefit the students to connect the language studies with the main interest of the students; cooking. This would provide an opportunity to practice languages in an everyday situation, in which the student was already familiar and interested.
The objectives were to increase the level of language skills, for students to learn in a natural way, to use other sources than text- and workbooks, to get cultural input via food and to have fun while learning. It seemed obvious to tie the language studies with the students’ general choice of education and take advantage of the resources available as far as kitchens and the interests of the students.
In French, German, Spanish and Italian classes the teachers would bring the groups to the kitchen to have the language lesson. There the students work with vocabulary in the respective language, recipes, as well as learning about the food culture of country of the target language. As part of their upper secondary programme the students go out on practical working experience and this was another aspect that the teachers could involve in the language learning. They brought multiple aspects of the programme together through the language studies.
The language teachers cooperated with the restaurant teachers.
As part of the first year the students were given the opportunity to work with both the hotel and restaurant directions, in the second year they made the choice whether they wanted to study the hotel or the restaurant programme.
There has not been an official evaluation, but the promoters report that the students really appreciated this method of working. It was reported back to the teachers on numerous occasions. Another result to bring up is that the Italian class went to Italy to visit a similar programme there. When they were there it was evident that they felt comfortable in speaking Italian while working in the kitchen and they could collaborate with the Italian students.
Johanna Ringborg, the promoter I talked to reported that she thought it was interesting to apply, both to share their project and also to learn about other ongoing projects. She also mentioned the possibility for cooperation with other teachers, as well as networking as two reasons for applying.
It was great to get feedback and attention of the method of working.
Be specific and give concrete examples on what you actually do. Ringborg believes that many schools and teachers are already working with very interesting and well-working projects, but they might not be aware of the possibility of attaining the ELL.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The food and Culture project consists with the criteria from the EU. It is completely transferable to any language and also other topics as well. The following criteria are met:
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.
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
This project received the award for a committed effort to encourage all students to continue their language studies in both English and other languages. Knowledge of the language are acquired in contexts that are meaningful to the students and the value of integrating language and content is clear. Students feel that they have a tool they can use in their careers and further studies. An international labor market is open to them and they get an insight into other cultures and ways of life. It was apparent how motivated students were when they were able to see the practical benefits of knowing more languages.
Comments on this Case Studies