TOWARDS A VIRTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR BILINGUAL SELF-LEARNING IN SUBJECTS RELATED TO ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS FOR THE DEGREES IN PHYSICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The English language is nowadays the international language for communications in most disciplines and in higher education is becoming a reference among the European Universities. For this reason, the University of Granada is actively promoting actions towards implementing this language in the educational system. As an example, the project “Hacia un marco virtual para el aprendizaje autónomo bilingüe de las asignaturas relacionadas con la física de la atmósfera en las titulaciones de Física y Ciencias Ambientales”  aims to spin the use of English by using bilingual materials for the disciplines of “Física de la Atmósfera“(Degree in Physics) and “Meteorología y Climatología” (Degree in Environmental Sciences) as well as self-learning activities both in English and Spanish. The implementation of the project and main results are presented here.
The English language has been selected by global consensus as the language for international communication. Moreover, in a rapidly changing environment with new developments at all levels it is key to stay updated from a professional point of view, and a good English level is essential for that. In fact, about 75 % of the scientific literature is written in English. Unfortunately, despite English is the predominant foreign language in Spain, people in general and particularly university students have a clear disadvantage compared to other European countries where most of the population fluently speaks English.
The goal of this project is to introduce the use of the English language as a professional tool for the students, which will benefit them in their future professional activity. For this aim, a bilingual virtual learning platform (Moodle), which allows for reinforcing the development of the classroom activities in subjects related to atmospheric physics of the degrees in Physics and Environmental Sciences, have been used. Additionally, the project has contributed to improve the learning of Erasmus program’s students with certain deficits in understanding the Spanish language.
This work has been partially funded by the Vicerrectorado de Planificación, Calidad y Evaluación Docente of the University of Granada (Spain) through the Teaching Innovation Project “Hacia un marco virtual para el aprendizaje autónomo bilingüe de las asignaturas relacionadas con la física de la atmósfera en las titulaciones de Física y Ciencias Ambientales (Ref.: 12-144)”.
 Hacia un marco virtual para el aprendizaje autónomo bilingüe de las asignaturas relacionadas con la física de la atmósfera en las titulaciones de Física y Ciencias Ambientales. Proyecto de innovación docente. Universidad de Granada. Coordinator: J. L. Guerrero-Rascado, Octubre 2012.
Keywords: Atmospheric physics, bilingualism, innovation, virtual platform (Moodle).