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BEATS's First Year and Teachers' Mobility to Rijeka 1-5 July 2017

The beginning

The two-year Erasmus+ project BEATS (Better English and Transferable Skills) for better job opportunities, which lasts from September 2016 until August 2018, had its first transnational meeting and teacher training hosted by IVO Brugge in October 2016. The representatives from all six participating institutions attended the event. Apart from IVO Brugge, the other participants of the project are Ecole Superieure des Affaires (the coordinating institution) from Namur, Belgium, Adult Education Institution Dante from Rijeka, Croatia, EOI de Mieres from Mieres, Spain, Alius Lingua from Riga, Latvia, and Rapla Language School from Rapla, Estonia.

BEATS Teachers at a meetings in the training sessions in Brugges (October 2016)

Working for the project: putting things together

During the months that followed the initial meeting, the participating staff from all institutions proceeded to collecting and choosing study materials for covering each topic listed in the curriculum composed for this project’s unique English course. The carefully chosen study materials, along with instructions, were uploaded on the Moodle platform, which was specifically created for the BEATS project. Needless to say, the new skills and ideas gained from the teacher training workshops and lectures in Bruges were passed on to the other staff members of the participating schools.

Part of the dashboard of the BEATS course on Moodle

Transnational meeting on line

On 18 January 2017, the project coordinators from all six institutions held a video conference via Skype. A staff member acted on behalf of one of the coordinators, who was at the time participating in a mobility of another international project. The January meeting by Skype was the second transnational meeting of the BEATS project and served the purpose of discussing important details related to the managing of the project. The Internet connections were good; and the conference was a great success.

Screenshot of our meeting by videoconference (January 2017)

Second mobility: Teacher training in Rijeka (1-5 July)

Although the evening of the arrival of the international BEATS guests was very rainy and windy, by the next morning the sky had cleared up and never got overcast again during the stay of Dante’s visitors. With the weather helping, it became obvious to all guests why one can hardly imagine a more inspiring place than Rijeka in summer. The Mediterranean climate and the myriad of colours found in the local nature energised all participants and created an almost festive mood.

For the period of 30 June to 6 July 2017, the partner schools sent their representatives to Rijeka in Croatia. Again, the mobility served the double purpose of enabling the coordinators to have their third transnational meeting in order to futher discuss and clarify the details and plans for managing the BEATS project; as well as providing an excellent opportunity for the other staff members from the partner schools to gather, get acquainted, share good practices, and take part in teacher training, this time highlighting interactive and drama methods applicable in teaching languages. The meeting and the training were hosted by the Rijeka-based Adult Education Institution Dante, one of the participants of BEATS.

During a creative group work session on different learning styles.

Workshops and the curriculum

During each day of the mobility, the staff from the visiting partner schools and some representatives of Dante, the hosting institution, gathered in the big building where Dante has its offices and classrooms, and spent the morning and the early afternoon in workshops. The trainings were given by Dante’s professional and very friendly staff members on the following topics: developing, monitoring, and evaluating the curriculum; developing intercultural competence in practice through teaching the English language; methodology in adult education; and different learning styles.

All the topics were introduced very engagingly. The staff members of the BEATS partner schools participated actively and creatively in the captivating group work activities, which involved elements of drama, miming, and even dancing waltz! Efficient methods and ideas for icebreakers and hands-on activities as well as for covering the topic of intercultural competence were abundant; and everyone found something new to take back to their own classroom. More serious topics, such as monitoring and evaluating the curriculum, were also discussed together. During one session, the teachers who had gathered in Rijeka worked together on creating detailed instructions for presenting some topics to be covered on the BEATS English courses.,

Feedback after a workshop

Time management was excellent during the workshops; and some valuable time was also saved thanks to the hosting institution, Dante, arranging delicious lunches to be brought and served on the spot in their office building.

The coordinators of the six participating institutions had a marathon of a transnational meeting, discussing once again all the important details related to the managing of the project which had come up as well as planning the next steps of the project.

The coordinators from the six institutions at the transnational meeting at Dante, Rijeka

In the late afternoons and evenings, the guests had plenty of time for sightseeing and dining in the beautiful and inspiring surroundings of the Kvarner Bay, such as Opatija, Volosko, and Kostrena. On the first morning, the adult learners of Dante had acted as excellent tour guides during the stroll around Rijeka. All participants gathered for the welcoming and farewell dinner at two different fabulous restaurants of this biggest port town of Croatia.

The teachers and staff from Dante

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Created By
María Valdés
Appreciate

Credits:

Text by Elina Aslett.

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