Comenius Multilateral Project n. 134405-2007-TR-COMENIUS-CMP
Website address: www.bsiproject.com
The aim of the BSI project is to prepare, test-implement and refine a Teacher Training Course for in-service teachers in foreign languages that wants to speak up the effectiveness of an innovative method which we call Broad Sweeps of Imagination (BSI) and to disseminate it in a wider European context. The course will be placed in the Comenius Catalogue and offered as an opportunity for qualification enhancement to the teachers all over Europe.
The method combines different approaches and techniques for learning new information and for foreign language teaching that, combined in an integrated set, has proven effective in improving learners� communicative skills. The BSI method combines visual elements ('clumsy pictures') and approaches that give learners the opportunity to harmonize their previous learning with the recent ones. Moreover, the BSI method fosters multicultural awareness, intercultural competences and respect towards the values of the other cultures, integrated in the foreign language learning process.
Besides the Teacher Training Course for in-service teachers in foreign languages the project is aimed at cascading the BSI method to teachers who teach great variety of foreign languages, at creating a network of trained language teachers who will further act as disseminators of the innovative method, developing and adapting it to their educational practices, and not the least - at elaborating a Guideline book that will encompass the basic principles of the BSI method, information for resources which teachers in different foreign languages may use in their work based on the BSI method and the experience which will be gained in the process of the international collaboration within the current project.
The efforts of the project partner-institutions will be backed up by a specially created e-platform which will support their work by providing opportunity for on-line advise and exchange of comments, opinions and supporting materials, as well as for collecting feedback on the transferability and applicability of the BSI method.
THE INITIAL TRAINING
The project lasts two years and will start with training courses and seminars for in-service language teachers. The main target groups of the project are 10 in-service teachers in any foreign languages from the project countries. This target group was purposely selected since they are practicing teachers who are in direct contact with the experts through meetings and e-platform who would benefit by the development and implementation of the innovative teaching methodology.
After being trained the teachers will localize and adopt the materials in their settings in collaboration with their local coordinators. The project experts (2 in each country) will monitor and evaluate the process of the test-implementation of the BSI method at local level; they will assess the effectiveness of the BSI training as well as of the advise and informational support provided through the e-platform and assess what materials teachers may need; will collect information for such materials and resources that are available and might be helpful for teachers' work; they will propose ideas and materials for the BSI Guidelines book and will discuss and determine its contents.
The project envisages testing the application of the new competences by the trained teachers' in real educational environment. It starts in the second term of the school year 2007-2008 (February 2008) and will continue during the first term of the following school year 2008-2009 (September 2008-January 2009.) The testing will be consulted and advised on operational day-to-day basis by the Turkish project experts through the use of the project e-platform. The opinion of the teachers and students engaged in the testing will be sought through questionnaires. Local project experts in each country will monitor the process of the test-implementation and will prepare short reports.
THE EXPERTS� WORK
The project experts will contribute to the collecting of materials, writing some parts of the BSI Guideline book and will translate the texts into the partner countries languages. The BSI Guideline book will contain: presentation of the BSI method, its basics and main elements and purpose of each element; short explanation of the deficiencies of the classical methods in language teaching and the rationale of the BSI method; information about the classroom management and teachers and students� roles in order to show how to create trust and confidence in class, how to prepare clumsy pictures by presenting the BSI method cycles; samples from portfolio, diary, record, classical music, new identities etc. will be included. Frequently asked questions and problems can be answered/explained. The experiences of the teachers gathered in the process of test-implementing and adapting the method in other languages (especially less widely spoken languages) will be presented.
The BSI Guidelines book will be the main tool for dissemination and popularisation of the method among teachers. All participants in BSI Teacher Training Courses on national or international level will receive the BSI Guideline Book in addition to the training which they will receive. The text of the BSI Guideline will also be available on the e-platform.
SUPPORT TO THE TRAINEES AND FEEDBACK
To assist the teacher training and test-implementation a BSI e-platform will be created. It will incorporate some texts that explain methodology, step-by-step algorithm for getting acquainted with the BSI method and how to use it in the practice. Resources and materials to be used in the practice will be available through the platform. The e-platform will serve as a two-way channel: not only for instructing the trainees, but also for receiving feedback about the method and its implementation from them. To this end a �forum� option will be created within the platform, through which the teachers trained in the local national trainings should be able to consult issues and problems that occur in the course of the test-implementation of the BSI method . The �forum� option will serve the same way those trainees who will attend the BSI qualification course through Comenius catalogue (after the end of the BSI project). The access to the e-platform will be free, so the information and resources on it will be available to a wide number of people.
The structure and the use of e-platform will be user friendly, it will be easily accessible for the trainees. The e-platform would ensure communication between the participants and the experts via forum. Although our goal is setting up a Comenius Course to be held with physically present participants, gathered for a certain time in a certain venue and attending real life training, the e-platform will be an additional support to that training and to accomplish the project mission.
The e-platform will be designed as a teachers� space. It will involve feedback and discussion so that the participants� different experiences may be known. In addition to this, frequently asked questions will take place to help the teachers who share the same problems while adapting and implementing the method. On the other hand, giving methodological support is important to understand the BSI method better. Moreover, for the people who want to see the samples about the method, we will design a clumsy picture gallery.
SECOND TEST- PHASE
After the process of initial local trainings, the project experts will collect feedback on the training received and their notes and suggestions for setting up a program for the BSI Teacher Training Course. The test-implementation of the method in different countries and in teaching different languages will be taken into consideration. A correspondence between the contents of the BSI Guideline book and the structure of the BSI Teacher Training Course will be sought. For ensuring achievement of the qualities set for the project outcomes the Teacher Training Course program will be tested in a specially organized 5-days International BSI teacher training in Romania in the middle of February 2009. The teachers who will attend the course will not be the same that took part in the trainings in the previous stages of the project implementation. These new trainees will be presented with a training course on the BSI teaching method, newly tailored with the contribution of the project experts from all partner countries. Ideas and suggestions that sprang off the test-implementation of the BSI method and its adaptation for training different foreign languages in different educational contexts will be added to the training course. Each partner institution will select 3 participants for the international BSI Teacher Training Course and 1 expert to take part in the training. The opinion of the participants in the international teacher training course in RO and the recommendations of the External evaluator will be the basis for the project experts' work on refining this output. The outcome of this work package will be a fully structured Teacher Training Course Program, ready to be submitted to Comenius Catalogue and to be offered as a qualification course for in-service foreign language teachers all over Europe.
Dissemination activities during the project are the maintenance of the project web-site, publications in the media, and the dissemination seminars in the partner countries (one day dissemination seminar will be organized in each partner country in the final stage of the Project implementation in September 2009 addressing at least 25 participants that represent the project target group). An electronic newsletter will also be prepared (2 issues per project year; 4 issues altogether) and will be spread among the users, registered in the BSI e-platform as well as among teachers and schools in the partner countries.
In addition to this, design, publishing and dissemination of 2 separate promotional leaflets in BG, IT, RO and TR (4000 copies altogether/1000 copies per country); the first one (at the beginning of the project implementation) will describe the project framework and future activities and the second one (by the project end) will picture the project achievements and outcomes and will be used for dissemination purposes.
1. A BSI GUIDELINE BOOK for teachers including a CD-ROM and clumsy picture log- Methodology of teaching and interdisciplinary didactic approaches for multicultural education through realities from the ordinary societal environment will be described. The printed version will be available in English All other language versions (BG, IT, RO and TR) will be disseminated in electronic variant' on CD-ROMs and through the e-platform. This guideline book will be the result of the first implementation, adaptation and evaluation processes. These processes can be accessible through the exchanging of the feedback of the test- implementation in meetings and e-platform among the in-service teachers. These new comprehensive aids will ease the teaching to a great extent. Methodology of teaching and interdisciplinary didactic approaches for multicultural education through realities from the ordinary societal environment will be developed. This is a product that would be used for dissemination of the project products and results.
2. An E-PLATFORM available in RO,TR, BG, IT languages will present the BSI Method, its basics, an explanation of the purpose of its main elements and the stages how to create the atmosphere of trust and confidence and a brief explanation of how to design the mnemonic devices (icons)-clumsy pictures. The gallery of clumsy pictures will be available. A collaborative discussion platform in order to get a cross-cultural sharing will be set, and PowerPoint templates, giving reference to academic writings that support our argument by sound reasoning, will be prepared and shared by the partners to lead them effectively.
3. A TEACHER TRAINING COURSE will be developed by the international partnership into innovative and universally applicable method for teaching / learning foreign languages. This course will be given to in-service teachers in foreign languages and the partners will contribute to its development to pave the way for the innovative language teaching implications. It will be designed as a tool giving links to a variety of useful materials and also providing a basis for the language teachers and language learners to communicate their needs and increase their voices. Provided that the course is accordingly promoted and many people in the area are driven to use it actively, it will be a very prolific tool by clambering different arguments from different places of the world, but maybe all sharing some common characteristics giving away new evidence for the miraculous 'language'.
The project is undertaken as a multinational partnership including institutions from four countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Romania and Turkey:
Intercultural Co-operation Foundation (ICCF)- Sofia, Bulgaria - a non-governmental, non-profit organisation whose activities are aimed at improving the agreement and collaboration between cultures and their progress respecting their distinctive characteristics and mutual equality. ICCF strives to act as information clearing-house and resource centre in the field of intercultural co-operation and education. It accumulates expertise and solid knowledge about international programmes and projects, and offers assistance and advise to interested people and institutions willing to make use of this information in favour of sustainable European development, i.e. maintaining and improving good-neighbourly relations and strengthening cross-cultural co-operation.
- Federazione Nazionale Insegnanti Centro di iniziativa per l'Europa - FENICE -Naples, Italy - a teachers' association supporting all those initiatives which favour the integration of the intellectual resources of schools in the cultural growth of society. The association also promotes and plans initiatives, training projects, refresher courses, the cultural improvement of teachers as well as research and experimentation in the teaching field, and takes part in research and development of technologies aiming at making learning easier and educational and vocational training more easily available thanks to the modern means of communication.
- Valahia University - Targoviste, Romania - a 15 year- old state university with 8 faculties, 8 departments, 28 Licence's degree specialisations, 23 Master�s degree courses, Doctoral studies, in-service teacher training courses and distance and lifelong learning courses. At present, over 11000 students attend all forms of study under the competent guidance of over 400 teachers. Apart from didactic and scientific research activities, the university comprises centres of lifelong learning catering for the needs of the social and economic community it serves. Faculties and departments train future and in-service teachers for primary, secondary and high schools in different areas, from basic sciences to Romanian and Foreign Languages (English and French), Science of Communication, Economy or Orthodox Theology. The teaching staff has experience in using modern methodologies and new methods of education which involve computer-based learning, ICT, collaborative learning, using Multimedia in Education etc. Since 1992, Valahia University Targoviste has gained experience in running Romanian, European and International programmes (PHARE, SOCRATES, COPERNICUS, WORLD BANK, LEONARDO DA VINCI, JEAN MONNET etc).
- Göztepe İhsan Kurşunoğlu Anadolu Lisesi (GIKAL) - Kadıköy (Istanbul), Turkey - an Anatolian High School located in the Asian part of Istanbul, Kadık-y, with 680 students aged between 13-18 and 53 teaching staff. The school offers Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Foreign Languages, Maths and Literature departments to the students. The school's vision is to adopt total quality in education, to train students to be leaders capable of using technology and prepare them to real life other than only university entrance exam. Students are trained as the ones who produce knowledge rather than the ones who only make use of it. GIKAL basically aims to lead individuals who are conscious of other cultures as well as their own and display respect and tolerance to the existence of all cultures.
- Kadıköy Provincial and District National Education Directorate - Kadıköy (Istanbul) - Turkey - a public institution established to plan, program, execute, monitor and control the education and training services targeted at teachers and students in the education institutions at all levels in Kadıköy. It is commissioned with the duty of realising on behalf of the government Turkish National Education in line with the basic principles. Its main goal is to raise highly skilful, productive and creative individuals. Its philosophy of education is based on forming a high quality society that not only has contemporary knowledge but also raises the awareness of cultural differences with its 184 schools, 5651 teachers and 111915 students. In order to accomplish this mission, it enables the development of new ways and methodological approaches of teaching for effective learning. Language learning and teaching is one of the priorities through carrying out the studies in several schools in their local area.