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Project / Network Content
Project Name: Multi-dimensional Language Teaching Classroom

    1. Background of the Project

Although information technology reshaped all layers of society and industry in new millennium, the functionality and the format of the classrooms in our schools did not change much. The significance of the classroom atmosphere regarding the teacher’s performance, student participation and teaching procedure as a whole is undeniable. However, the demand for a novel concept of language learning classroom has not been taken into consideration as meticulously as language materials or curriculum development. Therefore, designing a classroom model where the language instructor can transfer all linguistic data - contextual, audio, visual, and pictorial- by a click of a mouse and increase teacher-student interaction by integrating modern eclectic approach to language teaching is of vital importance.

    1. Objectives

Primarily, the project envisions combining innovative approaches in Computer Assisted Language Learning ( CALL) and new dimensions in e-learning. In that respect, the foremost goal of the project is to pile up and store all English language related data digitally in a database in order to give the language instructor a classroom environment in which all cornucopia of language input in diverse format can be accessed, retrieved, displayed, modified, and shared by multiple users by the aid of the most up-to date data transferring technologies such as satellite, ISDN, Internet and Ethernet. Thus, facilitating English language learning by the prospect of comprising all layers of a language input effortlessly and promptly in the classroom atmosphere is highlighted by the project. To illustrate, after covering the unit in normal course book, an instructor in Multi-dimensional Language Teaching Classroom will be able to exemplify and clarify the lesson from a myriad of ready-to-use lesson plans, language software and hundreds of subject-related web sites. Besides, s/he will be able to refer to desktop dictionaries, thesauri, spelling dictionaries, digital encyclopedias or related web pages. When it comes to check his/her students’ progress, the instructor can retrieve a pop-quiz, test, quiz, or an exam from thematic and graded quiz archive in the database and display it. Regarding the audio-visual language resources, the project is unrivaled in that all audio-visual resources such as picture dictionaries, songs, DVDs, documentaries, course CDs and subject-related web links can be played or demonstrated by a mouse click. Apart from the novelties that the project brings into the classroom, it opens up new horizons in teacher performance evaluation programs and educational administration. Secondly, as to the role of the students in new classrooms, it is aimed to get them actively involved in learning process by researching on the language database, logging onto the database from anywhere around the clock and solving the tests, presenting their assignments in diverse mediums and formats in classroom milieu such as PowerPoint presentations, personal web pages or internet links. Moreover, apart from the novelties that the project brings into the classroom, it opens up new horizons in teacher performance evaluation programs and educational administration. Thirdly, the project will enable language institutions to share the same language material regardless of the size and distance, collaborate interactively by organizing online debate sessions, conferences and student projects competitions. Fourthly, the project underlines the importance of language phenomenon as a key element in decoding complex mass of diverse social motifs and sustaining a sound threshold for cultural integration. Consequently, not only building the infrastructure for an effective formal language learning in schools but also rising a comprehensive language awareness in all layers of society is set as a target. In that regard, the interaction with institutions which are involved in adult education and education for disadvantaged social groups is focal point of the project. Last but not the least, the project will definitely provide initiative and guidance to our partners in building up their native language databases including minority languages.

    1. Outputs

  • Bringing a new outlook on both intramural and extramural language teaching, evaluation, assessment, monitoring and guidance.

  • Creating a classroom atmosphere in which all aspects of the language information can be presented in diverse formats.

  • Backing up the course book material effectively and emphasizing both teachers’ and students’ computer literacy.

  • Providing a reliable milieu for publishers to contribute to the project with old books which have no longer a marketing value in return for advertisement for the new releases.

  • Enhancing teacher-student and student-student interaction both in school and at home.

  • Providing a language learning archive that that can be reached through Internet from anywhere at anytime.

  • In addition to the book-oriented language teaching, providing groundwork for computer assisted language learning.

  • Effective merging of Internet with language teaching.

  • Multiple language database sharing and offering a sound base for academic fraternity and collaboration between the language-related institutions and universities in Europe.

  • Dethroning teacher-centered language classroom and rising student consciousness and individuality in language learning.

  • Digital recording of lectures and building a huge lesson archive.

  • Participation to the lectures and database from home and bringing new facilities for the disadvantaged learners.

  • A preliminary step in building digital European language learning databases that allow reliable infrastructure for European unity

1.5 Main Activities
1. Firstly, carrying out comprehensive survey and analysis both to improve the existing electronic, satellite and ethernet infra-structure of the data-processing and transferring system of Fatih University and to suit and tailor them for European access.

2. Secondly, buillding up the database structure for diverse langugae skills( reading, writing, grammar, listening etc.)and for different levels (beginner, preintermediate, intermediate, advanced) such as conditional sentence exercise for Intermediate level or a documentary movie about environmental pollution for upper-intermediate students. Constructing the most flexible algorithm for sorting and storing of the language database is the most crucial level.

3. The third step includes storing the whole corpus of language material digitally according to the algorithm set in the second step. In that phase, we also want to get in contact with publishing houses all over the world and acquire a long list of English resources which are out of print. By complying with Intellectual copyright laws and signing bilateral agreements, we are eager to gain these valuable,yet obselete language resources which became achaic due to the marketing strategies of the publishing houses. Thus, third step can be named as the storage phase for audio-viasual, pictorial and contectual resources for English Language Teaching. At that stage, not only our university database but also the partners contribution and feedback will absoluteley expedite the procedure.

4. Forth step can be named as application phase. Language learning database will be applied to our university preperatory English classes curriculum. Upon covering the unit, the instructor will embellish his lecture by getting the desired files via ethernet connection and display and manipulate it with a laptop and a projector. Therefore songs, movies, colourful web pages and language softwares will transform the classroom into a learning center and boost students’ performance.

1.6 Target Groups

  • Preperatory departments of language institutions.

  • Language course organizers and monitors for ESP( English for Specific Purposes), Toefl, IELTS and other worldwide acknowledged exams

  • Teaching resource centers

  • Minorities.

  • Disadvantaged social groups

  • People in vocational training

  • Curriculum designers

  • Program directors of content based education

  • Educational multipliers.

  • Developers adult education programs

  • Publishers

  • Unemployed

  • Business people

  • Tourism Agencies

1.7 Pedagogical and Didactical Background
The guiding pedagogical approach that lies beneath the overall rationale of the project is eclectic language teaching. Although most European publishing houses, notably English language, consider the language as a whole in its uniqueness and try to assemble the multifaceted usage of the language in their course books, a considerable number of language teachers fail to comprehend this diversity in tangible and living language entity that is used in daily life. Consequently, not only do they fail to have their students read, listen and write on a wide range of topics and issues but also they go on teaching the language through archaic grammar translation methods. Moreover, they fail to transfer the necessary pictorial, multimedia and reading resources into the classroom atmosphere due to the various reasons. Thus, in utter concordance with the ingredients of the course books, the project will enable the language instructor to include whole kaleidoscope of related input, no matter what format it is, into the lecture. To put in other words, a reading teacher covering the topic of volcanoes will be able to refer to newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, geography resources, a documentary on a volcano eruption, related web pages and maps to enliven his or her lecture. In brief, new advancements in educational technology necessitates a novel eclectic outlook in language teaching.
1.8 European Dimension
Regarding a harmonious European unity between diverse religions, cultures, and ethnic motifs, profound language teaching methodologies and techniques, which can be modified and adapted easily, are of vital importance. In that regard, the project will reshape classroom formats and ineffective language teaching approaches in most European countries with minimum expense. Moreover, the project can not only be transplanted to other countries but also to other European languages. Subsequently, with similar language modules the member and candidate countries can create a European Language Network to eradicate the language barrier for cultural integrity. Furthermore, on one hand, a myriad of language related web sites can be immersed in language teaching. On the other hand, project will surely decrease the amount of paper used in education as teachers will prefer displaying their materials via projectors and send them by e-mail to photocopying their handouts and tests.
1.9 Dissemination Potential

  • Facility to share novel ideas, database materials, classroom application feedback between language teachers and learners.

  • Adaptation flexibility to all European languages.

  • Student interaction around Europe.

  • Providing vital feedback for language methodologists and publishers.

  • Application of language database and classroom layout to adult education and distant education programs.

  • Multiplication of classroom models.

  • Program implementation for the disadvantaged around Europe.

  • Diverse implementation opportunities for bilingual education programs.

  • Application elasticity for Distant Language Learning, ESP programs (English for Specific Purposes) and Content Based Education Programs around Europe).

    1. Target Languages

All European language programs including minority languages.

2.Partnership Composition and Contribution
1. Teachers and Resources Centre Gijón, Spain

It is a public institution for the in-service teachers training. It is ruled by the Consejería de Educación del Principado de Asturias –regional educational authority. It was created in 1985 and since then has been in charge of the professional development of the teachers in the area (over 120 centres and 2,000 teachers) The staff includes twelve educational advisers (Infants, Primary Education, Fine Arts and Physical Education, Social Science, Spanish Language and Literature, Foreign Languages, Vocational Education, New Technologies and Audio-Visual Resources), office clerks and librarian, administration and management units. It has a long experience in European Projects: as associate in Comenius 3.1 (“Creativity across the curriculum”), ARIANE,ODL –Eurotess-, HORIZON, LINGUA D "Tandem Language Learning Partnerships for Schools", LEONARDO, as co-ordinator in Comenius 3.2 (“Think, innovate, create”) and Comenius 2 (Intercultural Project P.I.E.D.R.A.), (S.O.F.T. Change to improve relationships between families and schools). It has also at the moment two in-service training courses in the Catalogue Comenius.

2. Teachers’ Cooperative of Democratic Initiative, Italy

In 1981 upon the initiative of the CIDI,the Cooperativa Insegnanti di Iniziativa Democratica, CIID( Teachers’ Cooperative of Democratic Initiative) was formed. Local structures were subsequently created nationwide. There are now over 100 Territorial Centers; so they constitute a national network of considerable scope. Its aim is to enhance education programs which carry out researches, teachers’ training programs, projects and other services. CIID is organized in two departments a) Studies and Researches b)Projects and Training. In the second half of the 1980s, the CIID launched an intense round of international actions engaging international institutions and organizations( European Union, Council of Europe, UNESCO, the European Parliment), teachers’ associations, university institutes, adult education, intercultural education and so on.

  1. Antwerpen University, Belgium

The Centre for Language and Speech, Initiatief Nederlands, is a research and teaching institute for languages and is part of Antwerp University. The Centre carries out research into the acquisition of foreign languages and into distance learning and provides teaching for various languages: Antwerp has a worldwide network of cultural and economic relations; this is reflected in the student body of the university. The University of Antwerp has bilateral cooperation agreements with partner institutions around the world, is an active partner in a variety of international exchange programs, and receives a large number of foreign PhD students, researchers and visiting professors. Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe. The University of Antwerp has a long tradition in development studies. The courses and research of the Department of Development Studies and the Institute of Development Policy and Management are internationally renowned for their expertise. Scholarships are available. Many UA-professors participate in development programs of the Flemish Interuniversity Council.

  1. (SELT) Surat English Language Teaching, Istanbul, Turkey

SELT is a well-known Turkish publishing company which has a pretty innovative outlook on language teaching in Turkey. SELT has accumulated a wide range of valuable experience both in production and advertisement of English language teaching materials and magazines and in keeping up with the novelties in the field of Intellectual copyright laws.

  1. Teachers and Resources Training Institution, Oviedo, Spain

It is an official public in-service teacher training Institution, dependent of the Council of Education of Asturias, Local Education Authority of Asturias- autonomic region in the North of Spain. it covers the central area of the region, being in charge of the professional and educational development of Infant, Primary, Secondary and Adult in-service teachers (about 2300 teachers). In order to help those teachers, the organization offers courses, conferences, seminars, etc. and it takes part in different international projects through which teachers can exchange ideas and contribute to the projects.

3. Monitoring and Evaluation
To carry out the desired outputs, Research and Development department at Fatih University is going to opt out a continuous monitoring technique. The overall task will be divided between two teams within the body of R&D department; National and European Team. These teams will supervise every step of the project mentioned in the main activities section both on national level and European level. Fundementally, project has four chief substructure: Electronic, hardware and data-transferring substructure, devising a sound file algorithm for the database itself and the Internet hyperlinks, data storage and backing up and classsroom application. Owing to the fact that R&D department set a simultaneous development and contunious monitoring method as a core objective the four chief executive R&D branches will be set up to direct, supervise and and evaluate the progress of the above mentioned four principal tasks. All the participating institution are going to have a corresponding project team structure in order to finish up 4 diverse modules simultaneously. The project coordinators will be corresponding and interacting through e-mailing, video conferencing and other techniques. Moreover, biennial progress meetings will be held in Istanbul. By the same token, as to the application phase of the Multi-dimensional Language Teaching in the classrooms, all participating institutions will trace a common track both in classroom layouts, teacher profile and comparative analyses to verify the general output. In brief, the project needs a continuous monitoring rather than intermittent approach, effective feedback sharing, and harmonious coordination between the teams.

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