Expert meeting, 31 January - 1 February 2011
Expert meeting, 31 January - 1 February 2011
Project developments 2010
This year was a busy and a successful one for MARILLE, since we had the opportunity to meet three times. Especially the network meeting in September brought a wealth of new impulses and materials from the participants. The publication is making good progress, we are now mainly working on a good way to present our central document (which we used to call „framework“ and are now calling „strategic document“) in the publication. A major factor of the good progress we have been making is the invaluable support of our very efficient fellow, Tatjana Atanasoska, who has been assisting the team in all areas of the project. You can see the results of her work also on our website, which has become a lot richer, more consistent and now gives a good impression of the work the project has achieved.
Network meeting, 7-8 September 2010
Network meeting programme
The MARILLE team along with the research fellow and nine participants from different European countries took part in the network meeting in September. The work done was very effective as a result of this highly motivated and committed group. During our two days of intensive work, we further developed many aspects of the project and gathered new ideas for plurilingualism in the majority language classroom. The participants showed great interest in contributing to the publication at the end of the project. Through the various activities, this network meeting generated a great deal of material – that can now be integrated into the publication and/or the website.
Expertentreffen 26. - 27. Juli 2010
The expert meeting in July 2010 was mostly intended as a chance to prepare the network meeting which will already take place in September. It was intensive and has helped us greatly our further work. We were a bigger group this time: Frank Heyworth, our project consultant, gave us many interesting ideas for the further project development. Furthermore Tatjana Atanasoska, our project fellow, attended. Thanks to her we could try an interactive approach for structuring the principles of plurilingual majority teaching, which we want to apply during our network meeting too (see photos). The programme for our network meeting in September is fixed along general lines. Apart from the network meeting preparation, the relation between CARAP and MARILLE was discussed intensively, and a possible reference was proposed. The discussions about the publication and the further planning of the tasks for every team member were very important, too. We are looking forward to soon meeting all team members and the network participants during our network meeting in September!
Our project made good progress this year. To start off with, we further developed our "Framework fo plurilingual majority language teaching", which is going to be an important basis for structuring resources, materials and strategies , and has also been an effective tool for planning and organising our central workshop. It will be edited a little further before we will put it on the website, though. Also, we continued collecting resources, materials and practice examples for plurilingual majority language teaching, with help from the workshop participants (see report below), and some of it is already on the website. Another activity of this year was searching for practice examples documented on video. Apart from the existing examples we found, we could also record a classroom video with help from the ECML. This will also be available on the website in an edited version. A further new development of this year is the cooperation with the ECML project CARAP, which is going to give us valuable impulses on the continuing development of our "framework". A CARAP team member took part in our workshop and presented some of their results.
Workshop in Graz, 15-16 December 2009
The big event
We had been a little sceptical about reaching the people in majority language teaching through the ECML‘s network, which is mostly dealing with „foreign“ languages, but it worked out quite well: We had 26 knowledgeable, interested and highly motivated participants from 24 countries. We started by offering a „language snack“ in four different languages and the whole workshop was quite multilingual, with German, English and French used in the plenary and other languages such as Russian and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian during group work. This nicely underlined our call for plurilingualism in majority language classrooms! The event was quite successful, informing the participants about the project‘s current state and demonstrating practice examples. This stimulated a lively discussion and sharing of ideas and concepts from the different national/ regional contexts of the participants. While there are a lot of differences, there seemed to be agreement on one point that was already voiced during the pre-workshop poll: the dilemma that, in many contexts, there is hardly any provision for plurilingual majority language classrooms and the problem is largely ignored, while in fact there is urgent need for action by all levels of the education system, be it teacher education, school administration, materials development or classroom practice. Therefore, an important part of the workshop was devoted to discussing change management strategies on different levels that generated a number of interesting ideas. In addition to the results of group work and plenary discussions, the team got a wealth of additional information and resources from the participants, which will have to be evaluated and will gradually appear on the project website. A number of the workshop participants voiced an interest to keep cooperating with the team continuously and take part in the network meeting in September 2010. So, we are looking forward to an (inter-)active and fruitful nine months until we meet again!
Expert meeting, April 28-29, 2009
Our second meeting was very efficient in further clarifying what we precisely want to do in the project: The idea is to help majority language teachers to differentiate their teaching to accommodate plurilingualism. We want to do this by systematically collecting relevant resources and information (especially about professional networks in the field) and examples of effective practice which illustrate how it could be done.
We also managed to prepare many aspects of the big event coming up in December, the central workshop. We decided we would like to get in touch with our workshop participants beforehand to get to know them and ask them about their opinion. The workshop is going to be a mixture of information exchange about the situation in different countries, demonstration of effective practice and trying out and/ or analysing materials. We hope we can motivate a group of participants to continue working with us after the workshop, providing us with information about their local situation and disseminating to local/ regional/ national professional networks.
We used our first team meeting to get to know each other (nice people, by the way) and the context each of us is working in. We continued by clarifying the focus of the project and detailing our action plan. We agreed that educational issues related to plurilingualism and multilingualism were appearing on the curriculum, but generally speaking not in the majority language classrooms (we don't particularly like this term, but we'll use it provisionally), e.g. Finnish/Swedish classrooms in Finland or German classrooms in Austria. We therefore started to identify areas of interest which may be relevant to the development of majority language teaching, e.g. language awareness, bilingual education, learning strategies, multilingual literacies.