LIME Conference: Final report

During the 16 and 17th of March, the partners of the LIME (Languages and Media Project, No. 530866-LLP-1-2012-1-DE-KA2-KA2MP) held a conference organized in Caceres, Spain, by Gexcall; a multidisciplinary research group from the University of Extremadura, with support from the Volkshochschule im Landkreis Cham e.V. and the LiMe Consortium, with the purpose of disseminating the results and conclusions of their two-year European mission. The conference was aimed at, teachers, promoters and stakeholders involved in the teaching and training of the migrant population. More than one hundred people attended the conference (online and face-to- face sessions) including speakers and guests.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Mercedes Rico and Ms. Aleksandra Sikorsca, Director of Gexcall and project coordinator respectively. They introduced Dr. Seán Ó Riain Vice president of the European Society for Multilingualism.  He offered some significant facts about the importance of languages for the European Union and how one of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is that every European citizen should master two other languages in addition to their mother tongue.  As an example of unification he talked about Esperanto being a model  unifying language. Representing the Mass media, Mr. Antonio Hidalgo, Spanish Television journalist spoke about how media can help people to overcome cultural shock and to be integrated in the host country more rapidly. On behalf of the Extremaduran Government, María Ángeles Muñoz, Counselor for Employment and Social Welfare explained the necessity of projects like LIME to favour immigrants’ social inclusion. In the same session, Ms.Myriam Callus Fischer a EUROLTA Teacher Trainer, in a very dynamic presentation spoke about “The role of the modern language teacher”. They were both introduced by Dr. Gemma Delicado, Associate Dean of International Affairs at the Teacher Training College in Caceres, Spain.

After the official presentation sessions, the conference offered several lectures by some of the partners. Mr Marcin Gońda, on behalf of Dr Robert Dębski from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland talked about "Language learning with technology based on learner agency and goal oriented activity". , The following presenter; Ms Paula Ferreira da Silva, a Portuguese teacher at the Official School of Languages in Almendralejo, Spain and PhD Candidate gave a talk entitled “Falamos português, teaching Portuguese language and culture on TV”, based on a successful TV language program she conducted on Canal Extremadura.  Then, Jodie Griffin, Modern languages Lecturer at Tettenhall College Independent School in Wolverhampton, UK spoke about “The use of target language and Vokis in the MFL classroom”.  To close this session, Mirella Pederzoli. PhD student from the University for Foreigners of Siena, Italy, spoke about “Picture and second language acquisition: visual vocabulary to learn language for specific purposes”.

In the afternoon, guests participated in a poster presentation, together with a show and tell session, with more than sixteen projects from a great variety of countries and results being presented. The mid afternoon session began with Ms. Erin Straka from VHS Cham introducing the last talks. The first one by Ms Angela Molinari from the University of Wolverhampton in the UK.  Angela presented  “Photography In the L2 classroom”, followed by , Ms Lara Porciatti from ASEV, Italy who talked about “Music in the L2 classroom”. Maria Jose Naranjo  and Gemma Delicado both faculty of the University of Extremadura, Spain then delivered their work on    “Social Networks. Are you ready for connected learning?”. To conclude this session,  Mr Sławomir Rudziński from the University of Lodz, Poland talked about  “LiMe project-Film Trailer materials as a way of language and socio cultural education”.

The conference successfully concluded with an interactive session and evaluation where people could analyse the outcomes developped  throughout  the day and consider the implementation of these methodological resources and tools for their individual teaching contexts. Ms Aleksandra Sikorska closed the conference pointing out the most significant results. The next day, the project partners gathered to closely analyse the results collated during the conference and to work on a dissemination plan in order to implement the materials designed  to train the migrant population within the project partner countries.