„eCuisine”: A Model for Interactive Learning to Enhance Vocational Conversation and to Arouse International Awareness in the Hospitality Sector (12)
Increasing mobility is a characteristic feature of today’s world with effects for both, tourists and people working in tourism and hospitality industry. In a modern labour market we have to face the challenges and needs presented to us by mobility. The mixture of language learning combined with the ability to make use of new media and technologies is one of the basics in tourism education. Very often it is the quick/immediate response to “simple” questions, such as when ordering meals from a menu in a foreign country, that initiates customer satisfaction and intercultural understanding.
Project “eCuisine” (Project number: 2012-1-AT1-LEO05-06979) is a model of interactive learning which will enhance vocational conversation and arouse international awareness in the hospitality sector, as well as seek to improve the language skills and arouse interest in other cultures. It aims at widening the interest of students/learners and their trainers about the traditional cuisine of other countries.
Project includes a language learning programme and there are learning materials being designed for schools and vocational educational establishments for practical application and modification so that those working in the field of gastronomy, hospitality and service could use them as a tool for improving their professional skills.
An increasing number of applications dealing with cuisine/cooking are available in the style of traditional recipe books, providing information about ingredients, quantities of ingredients and ways of preparation. Those dealing with gastronomy give directions and recommendations for finding a nice place for dining, as well as make ordering easier/quicker for both guests and personnel, or allow payment via smartphone.
There are no applications available though that would give more detailed descriptions about the ingredients or the ways of preparation, about the region in which the selected dish is traditionally prepared, and they say nothing of cultural and historic data or “stories” that change simple menu selection into an unforgettable adventure. The best solution would be to have such a collection of information easily, quickly and neatly arranged in ONE application.
During the period from 1 October 2012 through to 30 September 2014 a consortium of 7 partners from 6 European countries (Austria, UK, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia) are seeking opportunities to learn new culinary knowledge. An association of project partners include generally recognised enterprises operating in the hotel/tourism sector which are specialised and advanced in all areas of the catering service and cooking.
National Austrian cuisine is at the centre of this project. Selected specialities of the Austrian cuisine plus culinary highlights from the partner countries have been described and integrated in an interactive learning programme and application prototypes. This facilitates access to mobile devices used in gastronomy and public catering. In a similar way the study materials for learning the professional catering business vocabulary in English will be developed.
Upon completion of this project it is expected that the professional qualification of service personnel will be raised, the awareness of traditional cuisine and of the cultural and historical aspects of food will be deepened; quick access to specific information in the field of hospitality and to the opportunities for individual demonstration of visualized products and the improvement of language skills will be provided; and that an additional learning programme will be offered as special module for educational establishments.
From September 19 to 21 the third meeting of partners was held at Turiba University. During the first evening of the meeting taking place in the conference hall of the “Best Hotel” the participants discussed the achievements so far in carrying out their work, i.e., the analysis and selection of national dishes and drinks, as well as their verbal description and translation. Also the information concerning the terms and conditions for the presentation of the intermediate report was finalised. The discussion was followed by a dinner in the “Best Hotel” dining-hall.
The meeting on September 20 took place at the premises of the Latvian partner — Turiba University Language Department. The work of the meeting was split into two sessions. The theme for the first session concerned the project database and the applications. The current content and quality of the database information, which serves as the basis for the applications and the learning programme, was discussed. Also the demo version of the application was presented and the tasks to be further carried out were specified. At the closing of the first session a tour around the university was made, followed by a lunch in “Cafe Turiba”. The theme for the afternoon session of discussions was the development of the learning programmes — the content and design of the learning modules. The session finished with a tour and dinner in the Old Town.
On September 21 the discussion continued on the development of the learning programmes and materials for formal and informal learners in the catering and hospitality field. Also the list of the works ahead was talked through and specific deadlines were attached. The fourth meeting of partners is expected to take place in Croatia in April of 2014, and the closing conference — in Slovenia in September, 2014.
For more information, please, see www.ecuisine-project.eu
Participant to the eCusine Project