Thursday, April 25, 2019

Piloting the learning program at Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota

In March 2016 teachers at Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota has started course piloting of the Slovenian, English and German study material with their students. Students from the secondary school unit have taken part as well as our college students.    

The first students who piloted the course were our second year economy college students who tested the English material. There were two groups of students, testing the material for the A2/B1 level and B2/C1 level. Before starting the piloting session each group was informed about the project itself, the results so far and how to use the tasks on the e-learning platform. We went through all the modules so that they could see the types of exercises and how to solve them.

The first impressions were positive. Students found the platform interesting and useful and they enjoyed learning English online. Most of them checked their language knowledge and some of them improve it as well, especially the students who learn English as a second foreign language. Their first foreign language is German. They mostly liked and enjoyed the Module City where they had to explore the village, seaside and ski resort maps to solve the tasks. The students solving the tasks on the higher language level B2/C1 found the modules and the tasks quite challenging but thought that most of the reading texts were too long.

In April, students from the secondary school unit started to participate in piloting. They were of different age and from different programmes, such as economic technician, logistics technician and vocational grammar school. They were second year, third year and fourth year students. They tested the material in Slovenian, English and German. All of them were informed about the project and the results and about how to use the e-learning material before starting the piloting. Regarding the English material, they mainly tested the A2/B1 level but some of them also tried the B2/C1 level.

The students liked solving the tasks online, especially the tasks of the Module City, where they had to use the village, seaside and ski resort maps. Although they found solving the tasks quite time-consuming, they still like them the most. Many students found the module Management offices very useful because of the different topics. In addition, most of them liked the module Restaurant kitchen, where they had to find out about national dishes of different countries.

In April also our first year IT college students started to participate in the testing and although it is not their field of interest, they found the tasks quite interesting. They were also informed about the project and the results and about how to use the e-learning material before starting the piloting. They tested the English material on both levels.

In April, we also had the opportunity to invite our part-time students to do some testing. They are first and second year economy college students and they tested the e-learning material in English on both levels and in German. They liked the tasks and found them very useful. They especially liked the idea of having free access to them so that they can learn and improve their language skills at home not only at school.

So far the general impression of the project and especially the e-learning material has been good. The students have spotted different sorts of mistakes, such as spelling mistakes and   grammar mistakes but also words or answers missing. They also found some old-fashioned words – words they have never heard before or felt that they are not used anymore.         

The course piloting will continue in May, whereby we are already trying to correct mistakes found by students and teacher.  

Although we have already collected some feedback in class while working on the computer there will be a survey for students after piloting in order to receive a feedback on the e-learning platform and study materials, discover mistakes and get recommendations for improvement.

Erna Vöröš

Project manager of Slovenian team

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The “Skills4Hotels” project dissemination for professional circles

On 4 April 2016, representatives of Pearson Publishing House, branch of Latvia and the professors of the Faculty of Modern Languages of the University of Latvia visited Turiba University. We had a brief but very productive meeting during which we discussed possible further collaboration in language teaching/learning, including disseminating the project outcomes as well as the opportunities of introducing more language teachers with them. It was decided to organize a one day joint seminar at the University of Latvia for language teachers’ professional development. We also discussed possible opportunities on using the language materials for preparing students for taking international LCCI specialized exams in Business English and Tourism English for B1 and B2 levels.

Dr.paed., prof. Ineta Luka
Head of the Department of Languages
Project manager of Turiba University
Latvia
 

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Project Dissemination at XVII International Scientific Conference of Turiba University „Competitive Enterprises in a Competitive Coutry” on March 31, 2016 in Latvia

Competitiveness is an important factor for each and every enterprise and the nation as a whole. The competitiveness of a nation depends on the success of its enterprises to a large extent.  Competitiveness is based on business efficiency indicators at the enterprise level including corporate strategy, management skills, marketing and price and cost efficiency. In this context competitive staff is crucial, the staff with highly developed emoployability skills that correspond to the requirements of the changing international context.

The annual international conference of Turiba University, Latvia was organised by the Faculty of Business Administration. The conference work was organised in a plenary session, parallel sessions of researchers and academics as well as students’ sessions. In parallel sessions 33 reports were presented.

Sandra Smilga from the Department of Languages of Turiba University presented the project at the conference giving a presentation on the theme “Opportunities of Fostering Independent Studies in Second Foreign Language Studies”. In her presentation Sandra analysed the current tendencies in second language learning, focusing on the methods and tools applied for second language learning at A2 and A1 level. Sandra emphasised that language competences in the European labour market are as self-evident nowadays as skills of using information and communication technologies. They are especially significant in the tourism sector where knowledge of several foreign languages at different levels of competences are required depending upon the position in the enterprise. Medium and top level managers are often required to know a second and third foreign language at the B1–B2 level in accordance with the CEFR. The majority of Tourism faculty students start learning a second foreign language as a beginner. The number of contact hours offered is not sufficient enough to achieve the results and regular independent studies are required. In order to foster independent studies learners are offered various modern language learning methods including open learning aids such as online tasks designed for learning professional language especially in the hospitality industry. Sandra presented the international research of language teachers conducted in the five project countries – Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia, Italy and Romania.Educators mainly underlined the importance of communicative competences which also defined the tasks of the project- to design learning materials with a wide range of guest questions and responses and guest requirements in typical situations of work with foreign tourists.

The conference programme is available on: http://www.turiba.lv/en/bizness-zinatne/research/history-of-scientific-conferences/xvii-international-scientific-conference/conference-programme/492/

The full paper in Latvian is available on:

http://language4hotel.eu/images/Second_language_learning_scientific_article.pdf

Dr.paed., prof. Ineta Luka
Head of the Department of Languages
Project manager of Turiba University
Latvia

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.