Since late 2014, NILE has been working in collaboration with IPRASE (Istituto Provinciale per la RicercA e la Sperimentazione Educative in the Autonomous Province of Trento), the Goethe Institut (Milan) and Bell Cambridge on an Erasmus Plus project, “Partnership for Excellence in Language Learning” (PAL).
The project was initially designed to investigate the potential for differential approaches to the teaching of English and German in three types of Italian secondary schools: licei (grammar schools), istituti professionali (vocational schools) and istituti tecnici (technical schools). The project framework has comprised three distinct outcomes:
- A compendium of best practice in language teaching and language teacher training
- An investigation of current practice in three representative schools
- A toolkit of classroom approaches designed to address the needs of learners, teachers and academic managers in the schools
This month, NILE External Consultants, Sarah Mount and Alan Pulverness, together with NILE trainer and member of the NILE Advisory Board, Franz Mittendorfer, joined colleagues from the Goethe Institut at the Festival delle Lingue, held by IPRASE in Rovereto, at the southern edge of the Italian Alps, to present the story of the project, which is nearing completion. Sarah narrated the history of the project in the form of a journey or quest. Alan began the journey with a PowerPoint presentation of the key components of Output 1. The second phase of the journey took the form of a talkshow, hosted by Franz and Christiane Bolte from Goethe, while the third and final phase was a gallery walk, conducted by Alan and Anna Maria Baldermann, also from Goethe.
The Festival also showcased three further NILE events: two public CLIL lessons by Franz, for audiences of 65 and 40 delegates, and Best Practice in Teacher Training, a trio of global case studies presented by Sarah and Alan, describing projects managed by NILE in recent years for Algerian school inspectors, Bulgarian school managers and Chinese teacher trainers.
The PAL project will be publishing its findings in May to coincide with a final event in Rovereto. This event will include a number of workshops focusing on both Academic Management and Teaching & Learning, and will bring together teacher and managers from the region together with representatives of the Italian Ministry of Education.
It is hoped that a programme of CPD courses for teachers and managers in the region will continue on from the project and provide the basis for sustainable growth and innovation in language teaching and learning.