Eur-ECHO project (Comenius 2.1)
The purpose of the project is to help protect and promote minority languages and safeguard their cultural heritage and identity in the new Europe. It involves Universities, Research Centres and other institutions across Europe, especially ones in the new Member States. The project will last three years, starting in October 2005.
The countries represented are: Austria: University of Salzburg, Bulgaria: New Bulgarian University; Czech Republic: University of Palackeco of Olomuc; Estonia, University of Tartu; Germany, University of Tubingen; Holland, University of Maastricht; Hungary, University of Pècs; Italy, University of Bologna; Lithuania: University of Vilnius, Romania, University of Potesti and the EUROED Foundation, and UK, Primrose Publishing. Some others may also join.
The object will be to identify and develop innovative methods for teaching foreign languages. It will start with research into current teaching methods used in the participating countries and then develop a new approach and create new teaching modules which will enable teachers to personalise their use in class, making them relevant to the cultural context. The new teaching modules will be designed so that they can be used regardless of the language being taught.
A network of teachers and language professionals will be set up from the participating institutions. They will compare and analyse the results of the research and will formulate a new approach and create new teaching modules based on blended learning so as to integrate new technologies with the best aspects of traditional teaching methods.
The first year will be devoted to research into current methods of teaching foreign languages, the drawing up of a new approach to language teaching and the designing of new teaching modules.
The second and third years will be devoted to disseminating the results of the project and training school-teachers in all the participating countries in how to use the new teaching modules.
School-teachers will attend training courses in the country where the language is spoken. They will then put into practice in their own school the new methods that they have learned. They will monitor the effectiveness of the new modules and the improvement in their students, and then compare their results with each other.
The final beneficiaries of the project will be both the language teachers and the students who will be taught using the new methods.
The purpose of the preparatory visit is to agree on a common approach to the project, decide the best way to carry out the research, define the role and contribution of each partner (depending on their particular experience and specialization) and discuss the content and format of the final proposal to be submitted to the Commission.