About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2285-2291
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS SUPPORTING ON-LINE LANGUAGE LEARNING AND CULTURAL PREPARATION FOR RESIDENCE ABROAD

K. Brogan1, R. Walsh2

1IT Tralee (IRELAND)
2Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin (IRELAND)
Research in the area of Study and Work Placement abroad (Byram, M. and Feng, A. 2006; DuFon, M. and Churchill, E. 2006; Pellegrino Aveni, P. 2005; Ward, C. et al, 2003; Freed, B. 1995; Coleman, J. 1995;) has consistently concluded that pre-departure preparation is essential to the success of a Residence Abroad Period. The VOCAL project is a practical and innovative pedagogic response to this need for language and cultural preparation in advance of placement abroad. It aims to provide mobility beneficiaries with a practical and useful preparation tool for their placements and contribute to a successful integration process whereby learners can maximise linguistically and culturally.

The VOCAL project (Vocationally Oriented Culture and Language - www.vocalproject.eu) is a two year Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project and part of the Lifelong Learning Programme. It is a follow-on project to Problem SOLVE (www.problemsolve.org), an earlier EU project awarded the EU Language Label 2006. The VOCAL project partnership consists of 10 European countries, a combination of 12 partner countries and 11 languages including Irish. This multilingual collaboration entails the designing of language materials by project partners, a subsequent testing and feedback process involving language learners. The end product serves as an on-line pre-departure preparation tool for students embarking on a mobility programme, with specific reference to mobility placement in vocational settings and work placement contexts.

These web-based language learning materials present the general topics of Travel, Accommodation, Socialising, Emergencies, At Work. The LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) component presents materials relating to the topics of Business, Tourism, Banking & Services and Engineering. The structure of each topic area includes a General Information section; Cultural Information relevant to the target language culture; Useful Words; Useful Phrases; Virtual Tours with audio and dialogue plus a selection of self-test exercises; Practical advice Do’s & Don’ts. All materials are designed by language specialists in consultation with subject area specialists.
These interactive on-line materials are bilingual (i.e. in the target language of each partner country and also in English). Learning styles and autonomous learning environments are considered in the design, and authentic situations are incorporated in likely non-classroom environments which the student may encounter. Linguistic and cultural preparation is achieved by means of these virtual journeys through various scenarios, whereby students are actively encouraged to troubleshoot potential challenges they may encounter in the host country.
@InProceedings{BROGAN2010VIR,
author = {Brogan, K. and Walsh, R.},
title = {VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS SUPPORTING ON-LINE LANGUAGE LEARNING AND CULTURAL PREPARATION FOR RESIDENCE ABROAD},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2285-2291}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Brogan AU - R. Walsh
TI - VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS SUPPORTING ON-LINE LANGUAGE LEARNING AND CULTURAL PREPARATION FOR RESIDENCE ABROAD
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 2285
EP - 2291
ER -
K. Brogan, R. Walsh (2010) VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS SUPPORTING ON-LINE LANGUAGE LEARNING AND CULTURAL PREPARATION FOR RESIDENCE ABROAD, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 2285-2291.
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