Teachers and experts met in Estonia to explore digital tools to support multilingualism and language learners across our communities as part of the final months of the ALCOR Erasmus+ project.
In March, Executive Director of the Rutu Foundation and Co-Founder of the Language Friendly School, Dr Ellen-Rose Kambel, travelled to Estonia with the multilingual learning team from the Optimist International School, one of the first Language Friendly Schools in the Netherlands, to attend the final phase of the ALCOR Erasmus+ project.
The team joined colleagues and experts from other participating countries for a session focused on digital tools as a means to develop and maintain language repertoires. Participants shared knowledge and practices, visited schools focused on multilingual and bilingual learning and created their own resources and lesson plans.
Exploring digital tools and parent involvement
In this final phase, the team enjoyed an intensive exploration of several digital tools. For example, they discussed how teachers can effectively evaluate and use ICT in and out of class not only to support their students’ linguistic repertoires, but also to create a bridge that connects home and school within this process; working along with parents and students to celebrate languages together. They explored different features of Translation tools, such as Microsoft Translate, and Google Translate, but also a plethora of other digital apps that allow teachers to create maps of our linguistic and cultural heritage, among others.
“The team returned inspired to put everything they have learned into practice, and even prouder of our journey as a school to make sure we embrace the children’s full identity, culture, and language backgrounds, heritage and preferences.”
– The Optimist International School
The ALCOR Project is an Erasmus+ project, which started in winter 2021 and will run until summer 2023. The aim is to encourage multilingual learning and the engagement of parents of migrant and minority students. The team consisted of educators and stakeholders: part of a network of 6 partner organizations coming from 4 European countries – Croatia, Estonia, Italy, and the Netherlands- NGOs, universities, research centers, and others.
Within their engagement to the project, the Multilingual Learning team from the Optimist International School invested in their professional development on the topic of multilingualism and parental engagement. They were also prepared to train colleagues.
A ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) on “How to become a language friendly teacher” will come online in June 2023 and will be freely available. Planning for four Language Friendly Festivals in four participating countries is also underway.
ALCOR is a follow-up project from AVIOR and is led by the Risbo Research Center in the Netherlands.
You can read the Optimist International School’s blogpost about their experience at the ALCOR Erasmus+ training here.