About the Project

The INVITED project – Integrating Primary and Pre-school Virtual Exchange Projects into Language Teacher Education, is a transnational initiative involving five universities in Germany, Spain, Poland, Slovenia and the UK.

The project seeks to promote the use of virtual exchange (VE) projects in primary and pre-school language education and to develop teachers´ competencies regarding VE by integrating VE projects with young learners into pre- and in-service language teacher education.

 

Objectives:
1. Promote VE projects in primary and pre-school language education
2. Develop teachers’ competencies regarding VE by integrating VE projects with young learners into pre- and in-service language teacher education.

Impact:

The project provides opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers to connect through the online community and offers support for their VE projects. It develops a teacher education module that will be part of the partners´ curricula and made available as an online professional development course. The outcomes will help promote the use of VE in early language education, develop teachers´ competences regarding VE and foster children´s and teachers cultural, linguistic and digital competences.

Innovation

In a survey of international virtual exchange programs, 56% of the projects were realized in higher education, only 5% in primary or secondary education, preschool education was not even mentioned (Steven´s Initiative 2021). INVITED bridges the gap still is a rather new approach for primary and all the more so for preschool education.

Another innovative aspect of the project is the fact that the participants in the teacher education module not only learn about VE or carry out a VE project with student teachers from a different university but realize a VE project with primary or pre-school children as part of their university studies. While research has shown that experiencing VE during university teacher education has an impact on teachers´ own realization of VE in their classrooms (Dooly 2020), many teachers are still hesitant to realize these projects with young learners. By planning, carrying out and reflecting upon a project in a local school during their university studies, teachers will develop the necessary competences and the confidence to use VE in their future teaching at primary and pre-schools. Through the cooperation with in-service teachers at these schools, the approach, as well as the project results, are also disseminated among practicing teachers.

Results

1. a survey on pre- and in-service teachers´ attitudes and practices regarding VE in the primary and pre-school language classroom → It aims at collecting information about teachers’ understanding of, attitudes towards, experience with and confidence about integrating VE projects into their early language learning classes. It will be used to inform decisions regarding the content of the teacher education module as well as the design of the etwinning group.

2. a community on VE for teachers on the European School Education Platform (etwinning group) → To give pre- and in-service teachers an opportunity for networking, finding VE partners and exchanging best practice examples, the project will run an etwinning group on the European School Education Platform. It will include a journal for announcements (e.g. webinars and community events), a space for material exchange, a forum to discuss questions and challenges and it will facilitate communication through chat and video conferencing.

3. a teacher education module and a professional development course on VE projects → The project will design, pilot and offer a teacher training module for pre- and in-service teachers on how to integrate VE project in the primary and pre-school foreign language classroom. This will include theoretical foundations of this approach (e.g. communicative language teaching), research on VE, instructions on setting up and realizing VE. Results from previous Erasmus+ projects on VE will be taken into account. A core part of the module is the practical realisation of a VE project with primary and pre-school learners in a local school that is subsequently reflected upon and discussed. The module will be integrated into the universities´ curricula and offered as an online professional development course on the ESEP.

4. use VE in their future teaching at primary and pre-schools. Through the cooperation with in-service teachers at these schools, the approach, as well as the project results, are also disseminated among practicing teachers. 

Partners:

Affiliates:

Contact us:

Annika Kolb

annika.kolb@ph-freiburg.de

Nurjona Pinguri

nurjona.pinguri@ph-freiburg.de