New ways of motivating learners
Motivation is crucial for successful language learning and students currently enrolled on curses have clearly found the motivation they need to make that start. But what about...
... other potential learners? Are there people who would learn a language if only they had the initial enthusiasm?
The LINGO project set out to find what was being done across Europe to encourage new learners to embark on language learning. Its findings are presented in a brochure and website setting out 50 examples of projects, methods and events that have encouraged people either to learn a new language or to make practical use of their existing linguistic skills. (http://www.eurointeractions.com/projectlingo.htm)
The examples range from small local initiatives to large-scale programmes at regional, national or European level. They focus on many different languages and reach out to all ages and levels. The projects challenge our ideas about how and where languages should be taught and were selected not only for their originality, but also because they are capable of being transferred to other countries or contexts.
For example, English in Song, A musical introduction to languages was devised by the School of Modern English in Bratislava in 2000 to encourage children to learn a new language through music and spontaneous artistic activities. When the children have rehearsed, the School organises a concert and the children have also recorded four CDs in cooperation with Slovak Radio, and have learnt more than 500 new words. (http://www.1sjs.sk)
EUROMAIL.COM addresses adult language learners in the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Netherlands. It offers adults the opportunity to communicate via e-mail with adults in other countries who are learning the same target language. This language serves as the language of communication between them. There are plans to widen its scope by inviting evening schools for adults from other European countries to join the partnership programme. (http://www.euromail.com)
These are just three examples from the menu. For inspiration, have a look at the website. You may find ideas you can use or you may be stimulated to think up new ways of motivating learners in your area.
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