This year the "Learning environments where modern languages flourish" team had two expert meetings in Graz in February and in September 2017. These meetings were dedicated to the overall development of the project’s content, the communication with partner schools and the finalising of different tools for the project’s working platform. More than 70 schools from 13 countries have already joined the network getting access to planning tools (action plan, synopsis, schedule), communication spaces (forum, webinar) and specific content (memos, matrix, resources from other schools, etc.).
EOL partner schools are also offered two opportunities: the first one was to participate in an online MOOC “Making professional videos with your smartphone” by the Gobelins school for image (November – December 2017) and the second one will be to test during spring 2018 the self-assessment tool developed by the project team of the ECML project “A roadmap for schools to support the language(s) of schooling”. The team also concentrated on any future communication with partner schools and the network event (19-21 March 2018).
During this year, two webinars took place in May and September and all partner schools were invited to join. The first webinar was focused on presenting the project. During the second webinar, the team presented the working platform and its different tools. Two partners where invited to present their work: Severine Poc (Berck, France) showed a video resource about “augmented reality” and Olivier Launay (Rouen, France) presented an analysis about the impact of EOL on education policy. The recorded version of the second webinar is available on the working platform.
The EOL project has already had an impressive impact on practices in France by including parents, building new partnerships, enlarging school networks, getting all levels to work together to value plurilingualism.
At the moment, partner schools are being asked either to submit the action plan for their school project or to further implement the projects they have launched. These will be uploaded on the working platform and are provide wonderful examples of sharing with others.
In addition to defining their own EOL project, our partner schools are also requested to share resources with the EOL network (team and other partner schools) and to widen their strategies to achieve a whole school language policy.
With another expert meeting scheduled in January 2018, the team has a further opportunity to prepare for the network event. Working together with the partner schools is vital, given that one of the core aims for the team is to find success factors in creating “a learning environment where modern languages flourish”, i.e. “EOL”. These success factors will enable the team to develop indicators. The reflections on the EOL models during our meeting emphasised the need for developing a simple tool to illustrate the impact of learning environments on learners, because the development of such environments is central to the project. Developing an EOL approach for the teaching of modern language is another important task.
Jonas Erin & Kristin Brogan