Hook up ! – Campus Europae Foreign Language Learning Gateway
The European Commission’s evaluation reports all point to the fact that acquiring foreign language skills are an absolute necessity. However, the belief that mobility is sufficient to bring about quality language acquirement has been proven wrong by various studies on mobility . So, although mobility endows students with a natural platform to acquire foreign languages, effective learning of host countries languages especially minority languages requires a concerted effort to prevent students and academics falling back into the lingua francas of namely English, but also French and German to the detriment of others. An element ignored is that students rarely receive language instruction before they embark on their year abroad and then upon their return fail to build on their new language competence and often lose it over time naturally if not practiced resulting in wasted effort, time and money. Following recommendations, many efforts are undertaken to motivate all Europeans to learn languages in and outside school, through formal and informal ways, in classrooms and chat rooms, however the bulk of today’s university students rarely speak more than two or three languages, one of which is English and seldom those known as minority languages. Moreover, once they have reached universities, the doorstep to an ever increasingly competitive labour market, students’ preoccupations centre in achieving high grades in their area to the detriment of language learning unless specifically linked to the chosen studies. Simultaneously, universities locked into cost efficiency, seldom rescue foreign language teaching from cut backs. However if mobility is not to remain the prerogative of a minority and is to counter the perverse effect of accentuating the “minorisation” of certain languages, systems have to be put in place to enable students to learn a foreign language intensively, in a relatively short period of time and as enjoyably as possible. More than a third of Socrates project coordinators have agreed that targeted language learning projects have contributed to a large extent to encourage and support linguistic diversity and contribute to an improvement in the quality of language teaching and learning but that they are often sporadic in nature and represent a pepper gun approach to a coherent language strategy and that it can no longer be relied upon that the learning of a new foreign language “en passant” during the mobility period of students holds. Since Campus Europae students are expected to study in 2 foreign countries at bachelor and master levels and effectively acquire 2 foreign languages for their degree, a cost efficient approach to language learning is of the essence for an ambitious project like Campus Europae.
A virtual language platform specific to Campus Europae would however address this unsatisfactory situation. Building upon existing resources, EUF-CE aims to address present foreign language learning limitations by providing open educational resources on line ensuring that organizational, technical and quality-related issues are addressed in order to share structured targeted content. With the present project, EUF-CE intends to take further its foreign language teaching and by doing so contribute to foster multilingualism and the “Europeanization” of today’s students and universities.
Project Number : 142782-LLP-1-2008-1-LU-ERASMUS-EVC
Monitoring and evaluation including an analytical assessment of the project regarding the development of skills, technical implementation and multilingual access
Duration of project :
MA. Line Eskildsen