The Erasmus+ project LERI: Peer Learning in Language Friendly School Networks (2021-2023) brings together two school networks:

(1) the Language Friendly School (LFS): a global network of schools run by the Rutu Foundation;

(2) voXmi: a network of Austrian schools managed by the University College of Teacher Education in Vienna (PH Wien) and associated university colleges.

Both networks have as their mission to strengthen inclusive visions of society and counter inequality and exclusion by supporting culturally and linguistically adapted pedagogies (“language friendly pedagogies”), within a comprehensive whole-school approach.

The acronym LERI stands for ‘Learning, teaching, Experiencing and Reflecting on Inclusion’. The word ‘leri’ means teaching and learning in Sranan, the creole lingua franca of Suriname, a former Dutch colony where the Rutu Foundation was originally conceived (Rutu means ‘roots’ in Sranan). LERI reminds us of Europe’s colonial history which contributed to the present cultural enrichment of Europe’s schools. The acronym is also a reference to the voXmi network. In German, voXmi means ‘from and with each other: learning and experiencing languages’. Language-friendly teaching thus means an encounter of all languages in awareness of social and historical relationships.

The objectives of LERI are to: (1) help more schools integrate language friendly pedagogies over the long term; (2) increase the professional expertise of teachers in language friendly pedagogies and (3) improve the digital competence of partners and teachers in blended and digital learning.

Expected results:

  • the partner organizations have strengthened their governance structures and strategies to sustainably run their respective networks.
  • a core group of teachers have participated in professional learning activities revolving around the creation of virtual language friendly subject lessons aimed at students aged 10-14 years.
  • The resources  – virtual lessons for subject teachers on language friendly learning –  are available on the organizations’ platforms in Dutch, German and English and shared through the networks of associated teacher colleges and partners in Europe and Canada.

Participating schools are DENISE (the Netherlands), St. Janschool (the Netherlands), Saba Comprehensive School (Dutch Caribbean), Silver Creek School (Canada), Mittelschule JoHo (Austria), RG/WRG 8 Feldgasse (Austria), MSI Konstanziagasse (Austria) and Gymnasium am Augarten (Austria).

For more information, contact the Rutu Foundation: info@rutufoundation.org.