“Euro-Skills” courses in Cambridge    September 2013

 

This is a series of highly successful courses conducted at Cambridge University for senior staff in universities and schools, and for senior civil servants. Participants come for a week’s intensive practical training in order to become more effective in collaborating with partners and colleagues across the European Union.

 

The aim of the courses is to enhance vital communication skills using a foreign language. Primarily for English, these can also cover Italian, French, German, and Spanish – ideally a combination of several languages.

 

The skills that are practised include speaking, presenting oneself, telephoning, taking part in meetings, controlling meetings, writing clearly and persuasively, emailing, creating really effective PowerPoint presentations, video-conferencing, and designing and creating EU projects.

 

During the course, each participant plans, designs and creates their own EU project and presents it to the rest of the group.  Then they divide into syndicates of 3 or 4. Each syndicate discusses and chooses one of their projects to form their “syndicate project”. They then develop it together, negotiating the details with their colleagues, and finally present it to the rest of the group. They support it with a PowerPoint presentation, each member of the syndicate presenting one aspect of the project. The group then discusses it, asking questions and offering constructive criticism.

 

Throughout the course great stress is laid on speaking clearly, with good diction and pronunciation, in both formal and informal interactions. Intercultural awareness plays an important part in all the activities.

 

The various sessions are supported by printed information sheets. These include detailed summaries of each stage in creating an EU project including hints and tips on how to give them the best chance of success.

 

The course gives practical hands-on training in the vital skills that are needed in order to participate fully and successfully in the new Europe and the wider world.

 

A software program based on these courses is now included in the Tick-Tack DVD. A copy of the latest version of the DVD is given to each participant to take home with them.