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Problems in real terms
Various actions have been undertaken in several Interreg-projects of the past to promote education of the Euregional neighbouring languages (class exchanges, certification …), especially to connect it more to the Euregional labour market. This happened with a lot of dedication but these efforts sometimes lacked coherence and sufficient scientific basis.
LINGUACLUSTER wants to continue with the entire efficient actions of the past, ensure the cohesion between each single actions at the same time and adjust them as much as possible by means of sufficient foundations.
The cluster contains some six actions, which include the entire initial education from toddler age till higher education on the one hand and also the advanced labour market-oriented studies on the other hand. Moreover, not only class education but also virtual language education will be paid attention to.
The Centre of Applied Linguistics (CTL) of Hasselt University is primarily in charge of the development of the virtual platform to learn languages, in addition to which not only the pure, linguistic component but also the culture-related communicative aspects will be taken into account. The platform will contain a varied set of instruments: a language learning platform, a cultural and communicative platform, an online library with a list of analysed and useful websites, a brokerage of learning tools with an EMR slant, the exchange fair to set up language mixed actions with classes out of several subregions within the EMR…
CTL’s contribution will consist of the development of 700 exercises per local language in the EMR, in which the abstract “can do”- statements of the basic levels (A1 and A2) of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) have to be exemplified for the three languages involved in lexical, syntactic and discursive fields, completed with appropriate cultural and communicative contents. A separate research on the contrastive difficulties of the three groups of native speakers with regard to the respective neighbouring languages will have to supply the input of the contrastive exercises. As the developed exercises, in accordance with the principal purpose of learning foreign languages, will primarily target the oral communicative competence, all exercises, whenever useful, will be offered orally as well. Moreover, multimedia elements will be included as much as possible in the cultural and communicative exercises.
Electronic feedback will be provided for all exercises, in which it will be examined how this can be offered as language independently as possible. The Open Universiteit’s expertise will certainly provide some useful inspiration when elaborating the project. A transparent lexical and discursive taxonomy among others has to be worked out with regard to feedback.
Through both CEFR levels, individual learning tracks will be made up with the possibility to enter laterally. Considering the specific features of the primary target group, adolescents in particular, it will be examined how the positioning on screen and screen layout can contribute to an attractive learning environment. The early experience with the upcoming “serious games” , will be used as much as possible to meet this goal.
To promote the material’s accessibility, various “intakes” will be possible, ranging from linear learning tracks to complex test settings. To that end, the produced tools will be provided with an entire set of parameters in order to give the individual user a freedom of choice that will be as large as possible. Some other features will offer the user the opportunity to create his own personal learning environment.
Furthermore, CTL will participate in the elaboration of labour market oriented communicative profiles for some six bottleneck occupations, in which knowledge of languages is important. These profiles will then be used for the realisation of functional CSP* modules. Those will be elaborated with the multimedia authoring platform Lingu@Tor Author of CommArt International**, which was realised by CTL in collaboration with Brainlane through an entire collection of EU financed projects of the past.
The teachers’ association DiWeF, which ranks among the non-profit organization Intercultura and has been supported by CTL, will alongside the Talenacademie Nederland en de Open Universiteit vouch for the development of the Euregional association of teachers of foreign languages, with a view to supporting the other LinguaCluster actions.
*Communication for specific purposes
- Provinciale onderwijsinspectie Limburg (BE), promotor-contractor
- Centrum voor Toegepaste Linguïstiek van de Universiteit Hasselt
- Province de Liège, Maison des Langues
- Communauté française de Belgique, Ministère de l’Enseignement obligatoire,
- Bezirksregierung Köln, Dezernat 43
- Regio Aachen e.V.
- Stichting Talenacademie Nederland
- Open Universiteit Nederland
- Ministerium der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschafts Belgiens
- FOREM Centre Coral, Liège
01.05.2009 – 30.06.2013