Project and Methodology
The project aims to make a useful addition to the training of coastal tourism workers by adapting, testing, disseminating and mainstreaming language learning materials using Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) methods, still regarded as innovative or little known in many areas. The content of the languages taught will be related to work in coastal tourism. A further aim is to form strategic networks, including employers, unions and providers of learning opportunities, which will advise, test, disseminate and mainstream the project results. This will increase cooperation between these institutions and add to Europe-wide knowledge of the issues. The methods and materials adapted will be transferred from the TalkIT project, promoted in Sweden and aimed at small tourist entrepreneurs, to new countries, including Greece, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, or regions, such as Valencia, Marche and Sardinia, and this new sector. The main European priority addressed is the skills development of adults in the labour market. Learners/trainees will gain not only access to a foreign language, which will increase their skills, but also intercultural communication skills and increased confidence in their ability to learn, because of the nature of the CLIL method, and will be able to learn at their own pace through ODL, delivered through the learning management system provided by the Czech partner. Thus the aims are in accord with the Lisbon key competences of communication in foreign languages and learning to learn. In Austria, some workers speak English to a certain extent but many are migrant workers who do not. In Sardinia, many migrant workers do not even speak Italian. Although southern Slovenes are bilingual (Italian), other languages are not catered for. We have therefore decided to focus on language learning needs. Partners note that there are insufficient learning opportunities in this sector, especially in language learning.
The ability to speak a foreign language not only increases technical skills but also social competence and is therefore a valuable measure in developing the skills of adults in the labour market.The results of the TalkIT project (www.talk-it.se) will be adapted and further developed into courses that use CLIL and ODL to teach skills, principally interaction with foreigners, through the medium of a foreign language spoken by typical visitors to marinas and harbours in a particular area. This will be decided through a needs analysis in marinas and harbours. The promoter of the original project is a member of this project and has agreed to the use of the materials already produced.
Training for low-skilled workers is often very basic (Vocational Guidance for Low-Skilled Workers, www.gla.ac.uk/wg) and rarely involves foreign language learning, although migrant workers may have access to learning the host country language. Most adult learning opportunities are both aimed at and taken up by people who have higher level education and skills. Self-directed learning is similarly thought most suitable for well educated people, though methods have been developed and tested for low-educated people (Learn.Empowerment, www.learn-empowerment.org). The general neglect of low-skilled workers, despite European and national priorities, means that there is a shortage of learning materials in a wide range of occupations, and few if any for foreign language teaching combined with skills training.
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This project has been funded with support from
the European Commission - Lifelong Learning Programme
This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of information contained therein.