The ECML EOL project (www.ecml.at/learningenvironments) held a workshop on the 7th and 8th of March with 28 participants from 28 countries plus the project team. Jonas Erin from France is the coordinator and the team members are Lea Štiberc from Slovenia, Silvia Minardi from Italy and Kristin Brogan from Ireland. The workshop was joined by three special guests: Marisa Cavalli from Italy as the ECML consultant; Génaël Valet from the French Ministry of Education, an expert for the online training platform M@gistere, and Leslie Neumann from TU-Darmstadt University who presented her current research.
The main goal of the workshop was to share the outcomes of the project with participants from member states and to receive feedback on the EOL tools that had been developed by the team and with the vital support of the ECML team.
Among the tools the team has been developing, there is an online course which can be used to start creating learning environments where languages flourish. The schedule of the workshop was strictly based on the different steps of the online course, i.e
- Step 1: What are learning environments?
- Step 2: How to design priorities
- Step 3: How to define new strategies
- Step 4: What research underpins EOL?
- Step 5: How to set up a whole school plan
- Step 6: Assessing and training
- Step 7: Implementing EOL
Participants gave useful feedback on the various project tools – the Matrix, the TrEOL game, the memos, the case studies, the glossary and the action plans. This adds a quality check to these outputs which have also been piloted.
The project team will meet for the last time in April at the ECML in Graz and will discuss the final plans for this ambitious ECML project; for example, final adaptations of the outputs based on the feedback received. All project tools for teachers and the wider language community will be available on the website.
The overarching aim of this four year project has been to develop a vision of a language friendly environment, encourage a strategic approach to language teaching and learning and to provide tools and resources to all those who want to change their school into a place where languages can flourish.
The project team:
Jonas Erin (coordinator), Kristin Brogan, Silvia Minardi, Lea Štiberc