This project originates from the detection of some needs and difficulties in most students in our schools. These needs were detected through different surveys and tests devised by our teachers and through the results of our students in external tests (PISA tests). After analyzing the results, it became clear that the most pressing needs of our students were those concerning basic competences, especially reading comprehension, and their level of English.
After having detected these specific needs, we started thinking how to solve them, and we agreed on devising a KA2 Erasmus+ which aims at these objectives. In addition, taking part in a European project would also benefit our educational community in many other ways.
We chose literature as the topic of our project as it has been proved that literature improves reading abilities more than just training reading techniques, and moreover it offers many benefits and supports all areas of the language arts curriculum. Literature builds experience as children expand their horizons. When reading a book they visit new places, meet new people, learn about the past as well as the present; they get a deeper knowledge of their own culture and about different cultures. They discover the common goals and similar emotions found in people of all times and places. In our project they do not only make these experiences virtually, but follow the lines of the writer in the area he has lived and written about, which is not only more motivating but provides a better understanding of a book. We decided to share these experiences with other countries as multicultural literature helps the students to value people from different races, ethnic groups, and cultures.
Thus, the main objectives of the project are:
- Improve reading comprehension.
- Improve our students' level of English.
- Reduce early school leaving by increasing motivation.
- Increase our students' interest in school and in learning modern languages.
- Become aware of the importance of cultural values and expressions.
- Increase tolerance and wipe out prejudices regarding nationality, religion, race...
- Foster teamwork and entrepeneurship.
- Raise awareness of European citizenship.
- Improve basic skills in our students.
- Foster creative thinking.
These objectives, which are closely connected with the Europe 2020 Strategy, will be achieved through different activities that will be carried out throughout the project. These activities will be treated as cross-curricular activities, since they will involve different areas such as English, ICT, literature, music, history, geography, etc.
This project is aimed at students of secondary education in European schools. The students The students areinvolved in all stages of the project: planning, performing, evaluating and creating results.. Together with their teachers, they will choose a local writer from their region (other artists can be dealt with optionally: singers, painters, craftsmen, etc.) and share it with the rest of the groups. Then, they will have to look up some information about these personalities and investigate about them and their background. Then, in the visits to the different schools, they will do different activities using pieces of art by the artists they have been working on: create a city guide based on a novel, illustrate a poem or a song, interview a local artist, create a multimedia presentation for a text...
We think that the benefits our students will get from this project are huge and they could not be attained as effectively in any other way as taking part in a project with these characteristics. Working in this way, our students will find a real reason to use English, and their learning process will be significant and meaningful. Students find it very motivational to cooperate with partners from other countries, and this makes them more interested in the learning process. This situation will contribute to foster teamwork and will add a European dimension to the activities that could not be achieved in any other way. In addition, getting in touch with other cultures will erase any prejudices students (or their families) may have. This aspect will be encouraged by the fact that students will host and will be hosted by their partners from the other countries.
All this will be a valuable pedagogical experience both for teachers and students.