Erasmus + Cooperation partnerships in higher education
Project : 2021-1-IT02-KA220-HED-000027501
The LMOOC4Slav project proposes the creation of a learning path to promote the academic success of mobility students, having as its target audience, although not exclusively, Slavic-speaking students learning Romance languages, specifically Italian and Portuguese. Slavic languages are spoken by over 315 million people living in Eastern, Central Eastern and Balkan Europe, as well as by a large group of immigrants around the world and the learning of a Romance language by Slavic speakers presents several difficulties, including, for some Slavic languages, the need to acquire a different writing system. Furthermore, unlike for other languages, not much work has been done in the context of producing innovative and open access quality pedagogical resources and materials for teaching Italian and Portuguese for academic purposes.
The Project proposes 2 MOOCs, 1 for Italian and 1 for Portuguese, organised into 6 modules that provide the student access to authentic academic situations as well as learning tools to enhance his/her ability to learn how to learn. These MOOCs are designed for self-paced and independent study and may be attended while studying abroad or before departure, aiming at providing students with the needed tools to succeed. On the other side, Italian and Portuguese language teachers in Slavic-speaking countries need specific tools to facilitate learning of academic language and to teach learners strategies that help them to develop autonomy, in particular cognitive and metacognitive strategies. The project is also intended as a support to them, as it provides for the creation of a repertoire of Open Educational Resources useful for learning Italian and Portuguese using an audio-visual approach, allowing reflection on linguistic elements, as well as on kinaesthetic and socio-cultural characteristics of the academic environment. Since Slavic languages include West Slavic and South Slavic to facilitate learning by students belonging to one of these language families, some activities of the MOOCs will be developed in two different versions. Through the creation of MOOCs, OERs, guidelines for the evaluation of language MOOCs, the portal, which will host all OERs created during the project and their free use the impact will be very substantial, considering also the presence of five Universities with their large contacts and exchange agreements with many countries. The project is also intended as a support to teachers of Italian L2 and Portuguese L2 as it provides for the creation of repositories of OERs useful for learning Italian and Portuguese using an audio-visual approach.
• Planning, development and creation of two MOOCs respectively for Italian and Portuguese, consisting of 6 modules each and addressing the specific language needs of the target group specified above;
• Creation of Italian and Portuguese academic discourse OERs (Open educational Resources) consisting of audio and video materials and written texts on academic topics related to different disciplinary fields;
• Designing a pedagogical guide explaining carefully how to integrate the MOOC and the OER into a pedagogic learning path;
• Planning, creation and development of a portal for teaching languages with MOOCs and OERs with the function of an integrated and customizable learning environment to be used by recipients to organize and manage language-learning scenarios based on the OERs;
• Pilot Phase (delivery and evaluation of the two MOOCs);
• Evaluation and creation of monitoring tools;
• Impact and dissemination actions based on the realization of two international scientific conferences, with relating Call for papers, the publication of an e-book with the conference proceedings, and the use of different tools (brochure, video, newsletters, web-articles in periodic national/international, social media, inserting links in websites).
• Creation of an edited, peer-reviewed volume containing a selection of the research papers written by international Conferences participants about LMOOCs for social and geographical mobility, including the efficiency of LMOOC both as self-learning tools and as part of a tutored pedagogical scenario, and the comparison of this approach with others.
Development of an innovative approach to learning languages for academic contexts;
Development of quality and open resources for language teaching and learning in an academic mobility context;
Creation of an integrated and customizable learning environment to be used by recipients to organize and manage language-learning scenarios based on the OER available at the project Portal;
Creation of tools to support the development of specialised communication skills aimed at students in mobility programs;
Validation of this approach in national and international academic settings;
Free access to quality resources for the training and/or support of the training of thousands of students;
Creation of a network where people can share and learn from each other using the resources made available through the project;
Improvement of the skills, knowledge, experience necessary for creating OERs for language learning;
Improvement of language skills of the thousands of people who will follow the two courses;
Increasing awareness of the benefits of "open education" in Europe. The project will examine the potential of MOOCs (courses and communities) for breaking down technological barriers, allowing access to learning for people with special needs or at risk of exclusion;
Possibility for the teachers of the target languages to manage language-learning scenarios based on the OERs provided on the project portal which will have the function of an integrated and customizable learning environment;
Demonstrations carried out in international Conferences organized in centres of excellence in some European countries;
Availability of the outputs in an open-source repository beyond the duration of the Project;
Contribution to the development of research in language didactics.
The project, which is going to last 30 months (12/2021 - 05/2024), is coordinated by the University for Foreigners of Perugia and implemented by a partnership comprising institutions from five countries: Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia.
1. The University for Foreigners of Perugia, (UNISTRAPG), Perugia, Italy is the oldest and the most prestigious Italian institution specialising in the teaching, research, and promotion of Italian language and culture. Founded in 1921, the school has always been a symbol of openness and tolerance, as well as a meeting place for different cultures and peoples. The university’s mission is to promote the Italian language and cultural worldwide and to favour, through dialogue and exchange, the knowledge of diversity. Based on this identity, the University for Foreigners of Perugia provides enriched course offerings which, in addition to the teaching of Italian (Italian language and culture courses, as well as refresher courses for teachers of Italian as a second/foreign language L2/LS), offers Italian and international students Degree and Master’s Degree courses in teaching Italian to foreigners, the Made in Italy brand, communication, international relations and sustainability. Post-graduate training courses, including a PhD and Level I and II Master’s courses, round out the course offerings.
2. Federazione Nazionale Insegnanti Centro di iniziativa per l’Europa, (FENICE),Naples, Italy is a professional association of teachers which has the scope to contribute to the construction of a common European educational space, to promote and plan initiatives, training projects, refresher courses, the cultural improvement of teachers as well as research and experimentation in the teaching field. From 2001 until now, it has been involved, as coordinator or partner, in 23 European projects in the field of education and training, fourteen of which were addressed to teaching/learning a foreign language (including Italian L2) based on the use of new methodological approaches such as theatre and music (one of them awarded as Star project in 2012). In many projects has played a leading role for the dissemination and monitoring. These activities have not only permitted a significant development of skills in the sector but also the realization of a very wide network of contacts with experts in language teaching.
3. University of Porto (UPORTO), Porto, Portugal, is the second largest university in the country: 30.000 students (around 6.000 from foreign countries) and 2.400 academic staff. UPORTO is the biggest producer of science in Portugal, housing 14 faculties and one business school along with 16 libraries and 12 museums distributed over 3 campuses. Currently, UPORTO hosts 49 research centres covering a wide range of areas, from humanities to sciences, technologies and health. UPORTO has significant experience participating in funded projects, both as lead or partner organisation, at the national and international level and is currently involved in over 700 projects. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FLUP), with close to 3500 students, offers 13 undergraduate courses, 28 Master’s courses and 8 doctoral courses in the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a wide variety of vocational training and open courses. Over the years, FLUP has participated in a significant number of national and international research projects and in several mobility programmes for incoming and outgoing students, staff and researchers.
4. Masaryk University, (MU), Brno, Czech Republic, is the second largest university in the country, a member of the Compostela Group and the Utrecht Network. Founded in 1919, it now consists of ten faculties, over 200 departments, institutes, and clinics and 35,115 students. It is one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in the country. The university owns and operates Mendel Polar Station in Antarctica that facilitates basic biological, geological and climatological research. The Faculty of Arts, one of the four founding faculties of the University, is known mainly for its innovative approach to teaching and research, namely the involvement of modern technologies and practices such as smart single rooms, e-learning courses. In 2021, the European Commission decided to grant the certification HR Excellence in Research to the faculty. The Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures has more than 700 students. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral courses in philology, translation and didactics of French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese languages and literatures.
5. The Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Skopje (UKIM), Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia is the first state University in the country. At the moment, it represents a community of 23 faculties, 5 research institutes, 4 public scientific institutions and other higher education institution and associate members. UKIM has over 50.000 enrolled students from Republic of N. Macedonia in the first and second cycle of studies, as well as over 700 foreign students. The third cycle - doctoral studies is realized within the School of Doctoral Studies, with a total of 655 students. UKIM develops study programs in all scientific fields – natural sciences and mathematics, technical and technological sciences, medical sciences and health, biotechnical sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts. UKIM is member of international organizations and networks (EAIE, EUA, IAU) and has signed over 70 bilateral cooperation agreements with universities all over the world. The Blaze Koneski Faculty of Philology has 3.200 enrolled students. Currently around 20 languages are taught at the Faculty.
6. The Jagiellonian University, (JU), Kraków, Poland is the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded on 12 May 1364 by the Polish king Casimir the Great. Today, it comprises 16 Faculties, where nearly 4 thousand academic staff conduct research and provide education to almost 40 thousand students, within the framework of more than 150 different fields of study. A great international impact of the JU is the result of numerous agreements within the framework of the programmes such as for example: Erasmus+, Erasmus-Mundus, IANUS, ERANET, ERANET PLUS, EMERGE, Electra, CEEPUS, Visegrad scholarship, GFPS scholarship, Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission scholarship, Utrecht Network, collaboration with MAUI (Mid-America Universities International) and the Australian-European Network. The JU has signed bilateral agreements with 23 European, 5 Asian, 4 North American and 2 South American universities as well as 1 Australian higher education institution. In 2018, it was the only Eastern European higher education institution in Reuter’s Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities ranking.