Successful final event of LiMErIC project
More than seventy people involved or interested in childminding accepted the invitation by TAGESMÜTTER STEIERMARK to celebrate the results of the LiMErIC project and to discuss the future of the LiMErIC training programme. An exciting key note speech about children growing up in a multilingual environment was the starting point for the panel discussion. An exhibition regarding interesting facts about languages from the University of Graz, a desk with relevant books and games as well as a photo gallery showing the work of the LiMEriC partners at meetings and in the pilot test beds gave the visitors an understanding of LiMErIC on various levels. While enjoying the buffet after the event, experts developed further ideas and projects in connection with LiMErIC.
Styria has always welcomed immigrants from a wide variety of countries and, therefore, encompasses many languages.
“This variety of languages is very valuable and we have to see multilingualism as a huge potential”, said Bettina Vollath, member of the Styrian government in her opening speech at the event at the University of Teacher Education Styria in Graz.
This is also a starting point for the LiMErIC training programme. The course, aimed at people working in the field of child care, qualifies them to foster children with language developmental problems or children with a different first language from one spoken in their country of residence. A second focus of the training is the positive understanding of cultural differences and appreciation of multilingualism as a benefit.
With these facts, Katharina Lanzmaier-Ugri, who teaches at the University of Teacher Education Styria, provided evidence that multilingualism has become a daily factor in Graz. Nevertheless, there are always insecurities about these facts, not only in education. Representatives of various (pedagogic) professional groups emphasised the high demand for a training programme like LiMErIC. During the discussion there was an urgent plea to the responsible bodies to subsidise the LiMErIC training course in order for it to be offered to the target group as soon as possible.
International conference to be held as the final event of the LiMErICproject
The final event of the LiMErIC project will take place on November 22nd 2013 in Graz, Austria where the project partners will present the LiMErIC project and the handbook of the LiMErIC training course for childminders.In addition experts will discuss intercultural, multilingual and language support issues.
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Module 9 and 10 tested successfully in Switzerland!
Ariadne has also just finished module 10 „Market of games“ on 27th August 2013 in Baar, Central Switzerland. It was the aim of this test bed to strengthen the knowledge and competences of childminders in the area of promoting learning in early childhood via different games. The module “Market of Games” showed what participants have learned and gave an excellent example to all participants on how to apply the knowledge and experiences gained so far.
Prior to this face-2-face training session the participants were to collect their favorite games in order to foster language skills and put it online on the Limeric platform. The games were existing ones or ones that had been invented or modified by the participants. The only requirement was that these games foster language learning for children of our Limeric target group and that they could be played with a group of children but also at home by the parents with their children or their child. The participants of this test bed had been asked by their trainer to present the games to the group during the face-2-face session. Ariadne as well as the participants were pleased by the various best practice examples and the fact that even some mothers with migrant background joined this session to get some input on useful games.
Module 9 “cooperation with partents”, which was held on June 29th 2013 in Switzerland, was presented to 11 participants and focuses on the cooperation with parents – especially with those with migrant background.
The participants learned that successful co-operation requires curiosity, empathy, motivation and willingness to understand the parents, their wishes and needs for their children. At this level the co-operation with the parents is about creating trust and security, encouraging the parents to feel welcome in the care giving setting and conversing with the parents to gain more information about the child.
The participants from Switzerland appreciated the trainer´s input and the mutual exchange. Most of all, they pointed out the importance of their work with prejudices and biographies done during this training session. They also liked that within this test module they were able to address the principles of respect for and understanding of similarities and differences. It was crucial for the LiMErIC trainers of this module that the participants understood, that good co-operation with the parents is an important part in day care and that children will benefit largely from it.
Furthermore, the participants gained an understanding of the rights and obligations of parents and care givers as they got to know an expert in this field of early childhood education in a multicultural environment. For this ARIADNE invited a relevant community support worker and intercultural interpreter from the Tamil community. In this sense the test bed was also able to raise awareness on how to collaborate with experts in that context and find professional support via this network.
Module 3 ends testing series in Austria
Module 3 “Fostering Language Development”, which was held on June 29th, ends the LiMErIC testing series in Austria. The other seven modules were tested in Turkey, Italy and Switzerland.
There are many possibilities to foster language: rituals, rhymes, songs, speaking and reading books are activities that foster language development and can easily be built into the daily routine. On the other hand there are lots of books and games that have been specifically developed in order to foster language development. The trainer and TAGESMÜTTER STEIERMARK provided the participants with a variety of books and other relevant materials.
The forms of multilingualism were discussed as well as the implications on the language development. Another focus was laid on professionals who may be involved if a child has a language delay or disorder.
“Post session evaluations concluded that the participants highly appreciated the 3 modules tested in Austria .They got answers to their questions as well as a lot of tips and inspirations for their daily work with children. Despite initial scepticism towards e-learning, the platform is now a very popular mode to exchange information, discuss questions, as well as to exchange professional opinions among the participants and the trainers.
Child minders hope that they get a chance to attend the whole LiMErIC training course. TAGESMÜTTER STEIERMARK is working on it in Austria. The handbook of the LiMErIC training course will be presented at the final event of the project on November 22nd 2013 in Graz, Austria.
LiMErIC Module 4 “Multilingualism” and Module 5 “Promoting Learning” tested successfully in Turkey!
Two of the LiMErIC Modules tested in İzmir, Turkey between 18 and 21st June, 2013. The Module 4 “Multilingualism” and the Module 5 “Promoting Learning” presented to 23 participants who are working in childcare business. Icebreakers, videos and interactive games were used during the training in order to involve participants into learning process.
What is multilingualism? What are the advantages of being multilingual? What are the attitudes towards multilingualism? How can we support children’s language learning? All these questions and more have been answered in our Module 4 testing session by our trainer Associate Prof. NilayDereobalı from Ege University.
The information on how children learn, barriers to learning and how to overcome these barriers and how to foster learning are presented by our trainer Dr.Emin Bakayat in the testing of the Module 5 “Promoting Learning”. Participants discovered their own learning styles by answering series of questions and learned differences between various learning styles. They also learned how to use these differences to promote learning in early childhood development.
Online learning platform had also gain huge appeal among training participants in Turkey. They immediately started using the forum area to answer preparatory questions as well as ask new questions to trainers.
Overall, testing sessions were a big success and the participants indicated their satisfaction with both online and face to face training sessions.
LiMErIC Module 2 “Language development” tested successfully!
What should children be able to say at the age of two years? Why do children use grammatical forms if they have never heard it? How can I support a child that is communicating only with sign language? In what way does the language development of a child with Down’s Syndrome differ? What is different in the language development for a child that grows up bilingually? Karin Hütter, a speech therapist, answered these questions and more in our test module 2.
There was great interest by the childminders in module 2: language development of children aged zero to six years on June 8th. Videos demonstrated the language development as well as the interrelation with the development of motor skills and playing habits.
The knowledge about delay and disorder of language development and the difference between the two is very important for the practical work of the childminders. When does the childminder have to look and listen carefully? Who can the parents approach in case the language development of their child seems atypical? Up to what point can the childminder foster the language development of a child and when does a child need professional intervention? Six learning units are simply too short to fully cover the topic language development. Nevertheless, the participants went home strengthened with new knowledge and with a lot of creative ideas.
This module is followed up on the e-learning platform with practical exercises and theoretical documents. The last LiMErIC test module in Austria with the topic “Fostering language development” will take place at the end of June.
M6&7 with the topic intercultural issues tested in Italy
In the meanwhile also 24 Italian childminders tested successfully Modules 6 and 7 regarding intercultural issues. They enjoyed a lot the games, interactive lessons and group discussions that the trainer organized for them and they could also manage to exchange ideas and comments through the e-learning platform.
LiMErIC module 1 successfully tested!
19 childminders tested the LiMErIC module 1. With a lot of enthusiasm all participants engaged in group dynamic exercises and eagerly worked out the theoretical background together with the trainer. The childminders got to know more about the LiMErIC project and were introduced into the concept of e-learning and the use of the LiMErIC learning platform.
Feedback on the platform shows that module 1 was hard work but a lot of fun. Entering “moodle” (software for the course management system) was easy for some of the participants and more difficult for others.
However, all obstacles have been overcome and the childminders are keen to learn and communicate via the learning platform. The participants are looking forward to attending module 2 which is dealing with language development of children aged 0 to 6 years.
3rd partner meeting
LiMErIC went East ...
…and held its third international partner meeting in Izmir, Turkey from the 16th to the 17th April, 2013. Each partner organisation presented the worked out modules on the following topics: language development, multilingualism, learning strategies, intercultural behaviour, culture and territory, communication and conflict management as well as co-operation with parents.
The LiMErIC-training course consists of ten learning units for each module, out of which four units per module will be conducted via e-learning. This was the first time that all partners saw the LiMErIC-training course as a whole. And we are proud of it!
FH Joanneum, University of Applied Science in Graz, has set up eight courses (online learning groups) on a moodle platform. The first course for the tutors in the four test beds started straight after the partner meeting.
In May all participants of the test beds will be introduced to the basics of e-learning on moodle. The pilot testing of the modules in the partner organisations in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey will be an interesting challenge for the participants as well as for the tutors.
The LiMErIC-training course will be presented in a final conference on November 22nd, 2013 in Graz.
2nd partner meeting
On October 3rd to 4th 2012 the 2nd partner meeting of the LIMERIC project took place in Newport/Wales where all the 7 partner institutions were represented. The two important points of the meeting were: The presentation of the Needs analysis report and the preparation of the curriculum for the training course. As the training programme will be blended learning based, the partnership agreed that the course will be divided as follows: 40% e-learning and 60% face-to-face lessons. After two intense days the partners agreed on ten modules and a shared work plan for the work out of the single modules. The partners will work out ten modules with ten learning units each. The worked out drafts will be reviewed and put together into one piece by the Swiss and Austrian partners at the beginning of February next year. The responsible partners will present their modules at the next partner meeting in Izmir in Turkey on April 16th and 17th, 2013.
The first meeting took place in Graz on February 23rd to 24th 2012. Apart from getting to know each other the partners discussed the first draft of the needs analysis as well as administrative and financial questions. The logo and further steps have been agreed on. As the child care situation in the partner countries and the target groups are very different - further development of the project remains exciting...
The questionnaire will be circulated in the partner countries in April and May. The first results of the analysis will be available towards the end of the summer. The next partner meeting will take place at the beginning of October in Wales (UK).