Language Department Tutors Participate in the Grundtvig Workshop in Copenhagen (15)
From September 24 to 28 the Head of Department of Languages, professor associate Ineta Lūka and Assistant to the Language Department Līga Kļaviņa participated in a workshop under the Grundtvig Project taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was held within the scope of the Twinning Project ‘Language Learning Opportunities — Ways Out of Unemployment Risks’ undertaken under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme’s Grundtvig Sub-programme for Language and Intercultural Education. The following countries are the participants to this project: Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey and Slovakia.
The project’s workshops, discussions and plenary meetings took place in the Adults Learning Centre (VUF). On the first day of the conference the participants were introduced to the educational system in Denmark, its main goals and objectives where the guiding principle is to lay the emphasis in the learning process rather on competencies than on skills. The English language is the primary foreign language taught in school. German or French is offered as the second foreign language choice. In secondary school the students have an option of mastering the third foreign language which is usually Spanish. When leaving the school the students must pass a written and a spoken language exam, and the results of these exams are taken into account when enrolling for a college or a university.
Participants of the workshop were given an opportunity to visit and observe the foreign language learning sessions for bachelor programme students. During a German language session it was observed that the students liked both debating and working independently — there were 11 students in the room who debated on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy-tale ‘Aschenputtel’ [‘The Cinderella’]. The students highlighted some peculiarities that were characteristic of all fairy-tales, analysed the behaviour of all the characters and the guiding motives for their actions. As a home assignment the students were asked to make a translation of some specific sentences from the fairy-tale into their native language.
At the end of the first day of the workshop the participants were offered a tour around the Old Town of Copenhagen including a fare by a boat. This was followed by a trip around the Christiania Free State — a city within a city. Christiania is located in a fortress built about 300 years ago and occupies an area of approximately 35 hectares in between a fortification ditch and the sea bay — this territory for more than 40 years now has been populated by the hippies and their descendants.
On the final day of the workshop the teaching methods learned and the innovative concepts for the development of the teaching guides discovered were summarised. Workshop participants were offered to have a visit to the Danish Diaconate Centre. This particular centre is also operating as an educational establishment by providing students the possibilities of learning the profession of a nurse or a social worker.
Within the scope of the workshop new teaching methods were learned, new knowledge acquired on the ways to further elaborate on and diversify the learning content and on how to motivate the students to learn a foreign language.
Assistant to the Department of Languages