22nd September 2017, 8:30a.m.-4:45p.m. at TU Darmstadt, Wilhelm-Köhler-Saal
At this final conference of project Plur>E (funded by Erasmus+), best practice examples for the promotion of multilingualism in schools will be shared and discussed. Furthermore, project members will formulate recommendations about possibilities and challenges in implementing plurilingual whole school curricula to policy makers and to persons involved in school development.
Easy to use and efficient communication module for teachers from schools taking part in the project. Teachers are able to share experiences, exchange ideas, ask questions, give advice and maintain contact among each other.
Communication module for students, where semi-formal exchange of information takes place. Students using this tool have a chance to talk to each other, ask questions, seek or give advice and to support their peers.
Module where teachers from different schools are able to express their opinions regarding plurilingualism and its implementation in their own schools.
In this section, the project consortium gathers any other resources relevant for the project area, moreower, you can submit your own resources.
The Plur>E project
Plur>E is a follow-on project from the ECML PlurCur project run within the Learning through Languages Programme from 2012-2015. The goal of the Plur>E project is to further develop the concept of a plurilingual, inclusive and intercultural whole school policy in secondary education in an international context. Partner schools from five European countries develop language-based projects and will implement and assess them based on the concept of plurilingual whole school curricula. The main target groups are learners and teachers, but the Plur>E project also involves school management and policy makers.
Connecting languages and subjects
A plurilingual, inclusive and intercultural whole school policy embraces all languages present at a given school: majority and minority, regional, heritage and neighbouring languages. Languages as subjects are taught in an inclusive way; language and non-language instruction overlap so that all subject teaching can also become language teaching. The languages used are those already present at a given institution. This can either mean that schools offer additional language courses in the students’ family languages and/or that teachers encourage learners to use the languages they bring to the school in their subjects for clarification, meaning making, exchange etc.
Enhancing knowledge about languages
A multilingual approach to language learning means that learners get greater insight into the various structures of language for example by comparing and contrasting the languages they study. In this way, students become aware of positive and negative transfer between the languages they use. Such an approach helps students develop their metalinguistic awareness, that is, the awareness of how the languages work, and expand their language-learning strategies.
Connecting new knowledge with what students already know
Classrooms all over Europe are becoming increasingly multilingual and multicultural. Teachers face the challenge of effectively incorporating the language skills that students already have into their lessons. A whole school language policy has the potential to contribute to new pedagogical and methodological approaches which could enhance the learning process of all students.
Research-based teaching and learning
Project activities and outputs are based on current, on-going research in the fields of multilingualism/plurilingualism. Of special interest for the Plur>E project are studies on multilingual or metalinguistic awareness and the use of (foreign) languages for subject teaching (so-called CLIL approaches – content and language integrated learning). European intercomprehension, i.e. the use of prior language knowledge to learn new languages (e.g. the use of French to learn other Romance languages) is another interesting field of research that can inform Plur>E practice.
Expected outputs will include reports of the implementation of (aspects of) plurilingual whole school curricula by partner schools and best practice examples for plurilingual language-teaching collected during the lifetime of the project. Based on the experience gathered, recommendations on school development will be offered to school management and policy makers . In addition to this, Plur>E online modules for networking with existing and future partners will be created so that best practice examples can be shared with teachers, students, parents and school boards.
The first step of the Plur>E-project was the needs analysis of the partner schools. Its aim was to investigate the students’ and teachers’ views on their proposed multi-lingual projects. It focused primarily on the various languages learned at school; for example, heritage languages, minority languages and the languages of schooling.
The results of the surveys were quite varied due to the different frameworks of each of the schools and countries in question. In general, there is a very positive attitude towards plurilingualism and the learning of multiple languages. English is the dominate language, followed by other modern languages in Europe like Spanish, French and German. For immigrants the majority language is very important. The needs analysis also shows that there is a consensus among students as well as teachers regarding the need for improvement and further development in certain regions. These areas include alternative learning / teaching methods such as CLIL, exchange programs, internship abroad, personal experiences and diversified methods (making languages more accessible and ‘alive’), and a stronger focus on everyday situations and oral communication.
The Project Synopsis
Esenler Mesleki ve Teknik Anadolu Lisesi
Fachoberschule für Tourismus und Biotechnologie „Marie Curie“
Sozialwissenschaftliches, Klassisches, Sprachen- und Kunstgymnasium
Gymnasium Walther von der Vogelweide
Institute of Technology Tralee
Technische Universität Darmstadt
University of Turku
Turun Yliopisto, Finland