Final comments on foreign languages questionnaire

5 Junio 2007 por carlosvy

  

      Concerning other foreign languages different from English, the results of the survey are quite satisfactory since half of them answered affirmatively when asked about their competence in three skills: listening, reading and writing. They feel they can understand simple written texts, write short descriptions and paragraphs or do relatively well at listening comprehension.
      Speaking is a “different cup of tea”, again. Some students can have a short conversation exchanging personal information, but only a few feel strong at describing a person or a place, or telling a story using past tenses. They feel afraid of making mistakes without realising that is the only possible way of learning.

Final comments on the English questionnaire

5 Junio 2007 por carlosvy

         As part of our task for the Comenius course, our Secondary students made a survey to help them be aware of their knowledge of English. They had to answer questions to find out how confident they feel in the foreign language. 
         The results of the survey show that students are quite satisfied with their level of English as far as listening, reading and writing are concerned. In fact, when asked if they can listen and understand easy texts or dialogues about everyday matters (Listening), most of them answered affirmatively. The same applies to those questions related to their understanding of short, written stories (Reading), or their competence to write e-mails, messages or short descriptions of people and places (Writing). 
        We can see that our students feel quite self-confident in reading short messages, advertisements and e-mailing. Maybe this is the best result, because the students have the habit of doing this even out of the school. They are also good in productive and understanding abilities for what concerns describing people and places and for writing a short letter. 
       On the other hand, speaking seems to be the weakest aspect in their learning process. One of the possible explanations for this could be that it is often difficult to simulate real-life situation in languages classes, as the number of students is usually too big. In addition the students often lack the necessary vocabulary and they find it difficult to create phrases without passing through their mother tongue first, which means a further source of mistakes.

Lancaster Comenius meeting

8 Mayo 2007 por carlosvy

The second meeting of this Comenius was held during April (25-30) in Lancaster-England. Teachers from the three schools involved in the project met there in order to share the results of the different surveys we had previously agreed to carry out among our students.

We also had the opportunity of seeing the importance the acquisition of a foreign language is given at Ripley St. Thomas High School., where students have the chance to study five different modern languages (French, German, Spanish Russian, Japanese). Giving students the opportunity of learning a foreign language has become one of the priorities of the school and in this way in 1996 the school was designated an excellence for the study of modern languages and granted Language school status. This interest in foreign languages has led some teachers to get deeply involved in several Comenius projects, firmly believing that travelling and mixing with students from other countries is the best way to improve their students’ knowledge of modern languages.

Ripley St. Thomas High School in Lancaster (England)

8 Mayo 2007 por carlosvy

Ripley St Thomas Church of England High School is a large secondary school with approximately 2600 students aged 11 to 18. The school is structured into four Houses. Within those Houses students  are placed in a form with a form tutor who keeps each  pupil’s progress under regular review.  At the same time, as a church school the spiritual dimension plays an important role in the school’s everyday life.

Placed in Lancaster, England, the school sees the acquisition of a foreign language as an essential skill  for young people. In 1996 the school was granted Language College status and it also got an excellence for the study of modern languages. Students are offered a wide curriculum  including different vocational subjects such as Applied Business studies, Child Development,  Health and social Care and Rural and Agriculture  Science. The importance given to  modern languages can be seen in the great variety of foreign languages studied at the school ( French, German, Spanish , Russian, Japanese ).

Self-evaluation for students in Doña Jimena School

17 Febrero 2007 por carlosvy

When we held our first Comenius meeting of this Project in Loreto-Italy, we decided to do two different surveys this year with the main aim of studying and appreciating the importance of the knowledge and use of foreign languages, in this case English. Here you can see the results of student’s survey graphically. If you want to know the full results of the survey, you must open the page in this blog.

The results of the survey show that students are quite satisfied with their level of English as far as listening, reading and writing concerned. When asked if they can listen and understand easy texts or dialogues about everyday matters (Listening), most of them (56 - 80 %) answered affirmatively. The same applies to those questions related to their understanding of short, written stories (Reading), or their competence to write e-mails, messages or short descriptions of people and places (Writing).Speaking, however, seems to be a tough skill for them. A 57 % say that they can have a conversation exchanging personal information, but only a 37 % feel that they can describe a person or a place, or talk about a past event.

Comenius meeting in Loreto - Italy

17 Febrero 2007 por carlosvy

The first meeting of this Comenius project took place during November (25-30) in Loreto –
Italy. It was a very enriching experience because Istituto d`Istruzione Superiore Albert Einstein has an old tradition in Comenius projects. The teachers of languages department believe firmly in the need and benefit of travelling, practicing languages, mixing with students of other countries. We agreed that the goal of this project should be to get a motivation and stimulus to:
 

  • develop strategies and methodologies in language learning and teaching;
  • renovate our curricula sharing good practices;
  • produce educational materials;
  • improve our language competence.

Doña Jimena Secondary School in Gijón (Asturias) - Spain

15 Febrero 2007 por carlosvy

This is a comprehensive secondary school in the centre of Gijón, which is the biggest town in the region of
Asturias; in this academic year it has 646 pupils from 12-18 years old.
We have decided to design a 3-year programme whose main aim would be to implement the bilingual teaching in our school. It would involve some of our 1st E.S.O. students, who would voluntarily agree to enter the programme.
In the first year, students of 1º E.S.O. would be involved in a survey to make them conscious of the level of communicative competence they should reach and find out how many would be interested in entering the programme. This would enable us to select a group of them who could hopefully succeed in getting most out of it.
On the other hand, the teachers involved would get in touch with other secondary schools in which a similar project is being developed at the moment. We would gather as much information as possible about different aspects of this experience.

Instituto d’Istruzione Superiori Albert Einstein in Loreto - Italy

8 Febrero 2007 por carlosvy

Loreto

Instituto d’Istruzione Superiori Albert Einstein is a school where students can make two different vocational modules: Administrative studies (Comérciale) and catering school (Alberghiero ). In spite of working like two practically independent schools, in separated buildings, it’s the same Instituto, with an only headmaster and two directors of studies. It has 800 students more or less (14 to 18/9). When the students finish their studies, they usually find a job fairly quickly in shops, restaurants, ….. It is an area very frequented by the tourists as much in summer (the towns of the coast) as in the rest of the year (religious tourism - Loreto).

COMENIUS PROJECT - IES Doña Jimena - Gijón

25 Enero 2007 por carlosvy

Foreign languages: vehicle of knowledge and key to sucess

         Language knowledge has become one of the most important keys in order to get personal and professional success in the future. Most of our students will be faced with the necessity of mastering a language different from their mother tongue. Secondary education will, therefore, have to offer them the means to improve their language competence.
         Being certain about this, our institution sees in this Comenius project a wonderful opportunity to study and work on the possibility of a bilingual programme that could be gradually implemented in our school in the next two years. We also count on the support of our regional educational authorities. They have strongly recommended us to go on with this initiative.

     Three different schools participate in this project:

  • IIS EINSTEIN - ALBERGHIERO DE LORETO (ITALY) - project’s institution coordinator

  • RIPLEY ST THOMAS CHURCH OF ENGLAND (AIDED) HIGH SCHOOL DE LANCASTER (ENGLAND)

  • IES DOÑA JIMENA OF GIJÓN-ASTURIAS (SPAIN)    

The duration of the project will be of 36 months, more or less.
English Department and other two teachers (Maths and Natural Sciences) are involved in this project