This project is designed as a response to Covid19 and will deliver sustainable solutions for English language teaching (ELT) and educational inspiration to provide high-quality instruction for every individual child, either at home, at school, or in any hybrid form.
As schools respond to COVID-19, the need for digital tools has never been more urgent. However, as the change that would normally take years to evolve came instantly, it became much more demanding for the teachers and students. While it was harder for students to remain motivated and engaged, it was hard for teachers to develop digital literacy skills immediately.
Additionally, the integration of appropriate technology to tailor instruction to the individual needs, skills, and interests to advance and deepen learning, has become the basic competence for teachers and students. Advances in digital technology have recently placed organizing learning fitting to the needs of all individual learners within reach for the schools.
Due to these reasons, this project aims to develop innovative ways to provide sustainable solutions for a high-quality ELT education for every child, regardless of time and place. The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators will be used as a reference to support the development of educator-specific digital competencies. Besides technical skills, the integration of ICT skills in ELT will be a focal point, too (see Annex 2). The transferability to other subjects of its findings will be discussed and tried out.
Additionally, this project aims to address the “gap” in ELT between primary and secondary education and to design practical guidelines that schools could use to help their transition learners. The transition between the two levels is mentioned in policy documents but there is no real continuity in the syllabus or in teaching practice. The researchers recommend a national curriculum that would take into account the transition from primary to secondary, as well as a systematic assessment of the skills students have acquired, both of which would lead to a more effective transition (See Annex 6). Following the recommendations, the project will use the TOEFL Young Students Series (YSS) to measure students’ proficiency systematically and monitor their progress.
How will we work on these goals?
In this project, teachers from three combinations of a primary and a secondary school from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Finland will cooperate for two years to innovate ELT by effective implementation of digital tools.
To be able to start developing, it is important that you know your starting point, which is the students’ current level of English in our case. In a pre-project meeting, the TOEFL YSS has been chosen by the participants to assess the students’ English level as it is a curriculum independent, and large-scale assessment tool that can be administered both on paper or digitally. It provides educators with a highly detailed score report on the different skills of English and gives the teachers detailed insight into the starting level of each individual child (See Annex 4 & 5).
Next to frequent online meetings, we will organize 4 teacher training weeks (TTW) to:
- Enhance the digital literacy of teachers by learning from and with each other
- Improve teachers’ assessment literacy on ELT
- Help develop a continuous learning path from primary to secondary on ELT
- Design Covid19 proof blended learning environments
- Learn about and come up with solutions to adapt education to the individual needs
The schools work closely together with various associated partners:
Educational advisors from full partner Goal Testing.
ETS, connecting a research team to the project
ETS Global, providing the assessments for participating children free of charge
All three municipalities, in order to ensure equal opportunities for every child
SLO, to provide knowledge & network
What results are expected?
In the final month, a multiplier event will be hosted in each country. All results and intellectual outputs of the project will be presented there, all (associated) partners can share the yields of the project with the rest of Europe and beyond.
The intellectual outputs are:
e-book, serving as a methodological framework for implementation
a research paper, addressing how young learners develop their speaking and writing abilities
a research paper, focusing on the transition from English in primary to secondary education
a case study, how teachers use assessments to adjust their (digital) teaching
best practices movie clips per school
a project’s website, called the WELL (thewell-erasmus.eu). This website contains all (digital) resources, support, training, literature, and scientific research results in regards to the project. All activities of the project will be open access.
*The entire project is organized in such a way that it can be executed completely digitally if required.