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Project description

The project "Pimp up your brain - brain-friendly teaching and learning in alphabetisation and integration courses for adults" is a strategic partner project for the exchange of good practice.

Increasing immigration to Europe since 2015 has resulted in challenges in the European Union. Talks with EU partners made made clear that there is a different approach to integration in almost every European country and this has led to very different results. These talks made clear that the acquired knowledge and insights cannot be transferred to all the languages taught in the respective European countries. So it was decided to look closer at integration in the German speaking countries.

The Association of Adult Education Colleges Sachsen-Anhalt e.V. talked to respective colleges in Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein and learnt that teachers in integration courses tend to reach their limits. Due to a lack of time and personnel resources not all countries can join the project. However, they are very much interested in the results and later cooperation.

VHS-Bildungsinstitut VoG Eupen, Belgium and the BhW Niederösterreich GmbH Atzenbrugg, Austria together with the Association of Adult Education Colleges Sachsen-Anhalt e.V., Germany will actively share their experiences to verify the quality of integration courses in Europe.

The following questions will be basis of this audit:

1. How do learners in integration courses value the success of the welcoming culture in their target countries, their respective adult education colleges. How do they value their personal gain of competences in the courses, the teaching methods. What do they miss in the courses and what is not appropriately dealt with?

2. Which political and legal regulations influence the integration process? (Structures, objectives, financing, group sizes (e.g. in Germany 12-25 students per class / in Austria 6 per group - Which similarities, differences and effects result from these conditions?)

3. How is teacher and further training done in these three countries? (professional and linguistic requirements for teachers, content, implementation, financing, materials)

The results of the project, apart from strengthening the competences of teachers and raising the quality of courses, will give evidence of the current quality of integration courses and will allow conclusions about further steps, such as requirements to increase quality and how cooperation in a European context can be of assistance.

100 teachers will take part in the survey and 68 will be taking part in the three learning activities during the exchange. They will participate in competence building workshops and will pass on their knowledge and skills to teachers in regional workshops. The indirect target group will be learners. They will be integrated into the implementation of the acquired knowledge and insights. Apart from this 300 learners will take part in a survey to assess the quality of integration courses.

Three learning activities were designed for the partaking teachers. They will contribute to exchange and raising their competences.

Every meeting will focus on a particular theme or topic:

C1. Intercultural competence as stress competence, enhancing teaching competences

C2. Strengthening enjoyment of learning and motivation of learners, brain-friendly teaching, developing a range of methods

C3. Dealing with traumatized participants, raising awareness among the teachers and strengthening their competences

Fort he implementation of the project a common project management method was chosen: Introduction, planning, implementation, checking and evaluation.

To ensure administrative planning and evaluation there will be transnational meetings at the beginning and end as well as accompanying sessions. To support the work of the transnational meetings monthly video meetings will be held.

Apart from the expected strengthening of the teachers and the improvement of course quality written surveys will be carried out asking the questions mentioned above. The resulting data will be condensed and evaluated, they will provide information about the actual state and will allow conclusions on follow-up steps. e.g. requirements for raising course quality and how European cooperation can contribute to this. 

The aim of the cooperation is raising the quality of the courses to improve the chances of successful integration work in Europe through brain-friendly processing of teaching and learning stuff and strengthening of intercultural competences.

To reach this goal the project partners will regularly inform their local, regional and national providers of German as a foreign language courses and integration courses as well as respective organisations in the German speaking regions about the progress of the project and its results and invite them to attend regional exchange workshops and further training seminars. On EPALE the results will be provided and further exchange of experiences will be encouraged.