The Su(stainable)N(etworking).Com(munity) project aims to form a methodology for sustainable networking, by creating an informal language learning Community, with a focus on 8 non wide spread languages. In its first phase it proposes the use of innovative methods for Greek language learning, as a paradigm. The second phase includes communities of Italian, Albanian, Latvian, Russian, Slovenian, Polish, Czech and English.
The new learning paradigm involves creating an online platform, also called an online community within the terms of Social Media. At first, two virtual communities will be formed: a community of learning, addressed to learners of Greek as a foreign language (GFL) and to native Greek speakers who want to learn a foreign language. The second community will be a Community of Practice, addressed to teachers of Greek as a Foreign Language and trainee teachers who want to learn from professional teachers.
The project aims at uniting these two groups into an integrated community, which will be the core of an extended and sustainable learning network for all 9 members.
In a second phase, after the model have been developed and tested, the 8 other members will also adapt and implement the model. The project will use existent e-learning tools in conjunction with social, participatory technologies (web 2.0) and face to face courses to form a blended learning strategy. Methods used include Peer and Tandem Learning (involving native speakers too).
The desired outputs for the Sun.com project will be; a model for online language learning in an informal learning Community, a Community of practice for teachers, a Community of Learning. An e-learning platform using social media applications (Skype, blogs, wikis, etc.) as the communication tools, with language learning materials, a Validation Guide for language skills acquired through informal and non-formal learning and an administrator, tutor and learner guide.
The impact throughout the projects life span will affect the practices of at least 180 language teachers and 360 language learners of 8 non-wide spread target languages, who learn a foreign language, based on Peer and Tandem Informal Teaching Methods and on Blended Learning. As native speakers teach their mother tongue, they learn a language and will expand the Network into many more learners in the future.
The aims and objectives of the project are the following:
• To trace the evolution of an informal language community
• To invent a model for online language learning in an informal learning community, using social media applications. This is in line with the identified need for the development of innovative methods for language learning for informal learning communities.
• To enrich state of the art methodologies on understanding and producing oral speech. This is in line with the general need identified within the field of CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) for the alignment of new digital tools with appropriate pedagogical support.
• To empirically measure the effect of a) social communication as a regular component in formal or non-formal language learning and teaching practice, b) social networks as compliments of formal or non-formal language learning and c) the development of alternative, blended approaches to formal or non-formal learning. These have been identified as outstanding areas to be further investigated (OECD 2007-09).
• To monitor the sustainability of the community and the crucial - definitive factors that affect it and to examine the issue of its extension into a sustainable learning network
• To draft a validation guide of language skills acquired through informal and non-formal processes.
• To attempt a connection between informal, non-formal and formal language learning, through encouraging and supporting the community members to participate in the National exam of the Ministry of Education for the relevant target language.
• To establish nine language communities that will be networked and developed.
The project partnership includes 9 organisations:
Hellenic Culture Centre (Greece) that developed the project idea and proposal.
The Hellenic Culture Centre is one of the first non formal education institutions that offered courses in Greek as a foreign/second language. With expertise in language Teacher Training Programmes, the aims of the institution are to promote language learning and educating in teaching, and to contribute to adult education and intercultural education methodology. Intercultural awareness and cross-cultural activities are of foremost importance in all multicultural classes. The company has been involved in different national and EU projects on intercultural education (www.intercultural-orientation.eu), teacher training (www.teachyourlanguage.org), cultural exchange (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/europeanblog), e-learning (www.ellinikiglossa.eu). It also works on: research into educational needs, curricula, teaching methods; production of educational materials and methods of long distance learning; planning of programmes, curricula and educational services to other organizations.
Action Synergy S.A. (Greece)
Action Synergy S.A. is an ICT R&D, training and knowledge-based applications company which is actively involved in the development of education technologies, training methodologies and the development of e-learning training courses. Action Synergy S.A. disposes a long experience in the management and coordination of European Programmes. Since its foundation in 1987 the organisation has participated in a considerable number of EU educational projects, such as COMETT, PETRA, SOCRATES, LEONARDO DA VINCI, ARTICLE 6, ADAPT, TEMPUS, PHARE, Distance Learning. Action Synergy's key areas of expertise include:-Development of educational technologies and e-learning platforms, development of courses and modules making use of innovative methodologies such as e-learning/distance learning, learning needs analysis, development of professional profiles and lists of skills and competencies, development of synergies at local, national and transnational level, realisation of research and studies.
Lifelong Learning Centre of the University ‘L'orientale'(Italy)
Lifelong Learning Centre of the University of Naples ‘L'orientale' aims to promote initiatives that enhance higher education institutions, facilitate and support learning throughout the lifetime and offer graduates various opportunities' for adult continuing education in order to adjust their knowledge. It is the first Italian University that established a lifelong learning centre. This centre became the reference point in Italy for Lifelong Learning, and its activity is reported in a best practice in the 2008 report at the Parliament, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Policy. Today it has an intensive activity of interrelation with public and private international association, national and regulation institutions. The Centre teaches Greek, Albanian, Sloevnian, Polish and Italian as a foreign language. The role of the organisation is to encourage an inquiry-based process for people to listen, reflect, create and practice. We are committed to personal and professional growth.
Asociatia Nationala a Universitatilor Populare-International (Romania)
ANUP-INTERNATIONAL (Association of Romanian Popular Universities International) is an NGO created in 2006 as an organisation specialised in European projects dealing with adult education. It derives from AUP as a result of development and expertise in the field of European Adult Education. It works mainly with the largest structured network of adult education centres in Romania, both in urban and rural areas, which provide training and retraining courses for adults in order to enable them to adapt to the changing needs of the Romanian Society. ANUP-INTERNATIONAL maintains strong links to other networks and organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, working in the field of continuing education, such as: professional organisations, enterprises, work agencies. Since 1993 ANUP, as the grass root of the international programme, has developed many European projects dealing with methodology of adult education under PHARE, Leonardo Da Vinci and Socrates programmes.
Bsw - Bildungswerk der Sachischen Wirtschaft gGmbH (Germany )
The Bildungswerk der Sachischen Wirtschaft e.V. (bsw) is an incorporated society and a non-commercial association for further education in Saxony (Germany). Fields of principal activity are further training of executive and skilled employees, professional basic education, further education of unemployed and other disadvantaged people, the reintegration of adolescents, women and disadvantaged people, educational research with a focus into the fields of the creation of new forms of teaching and education, implementation of studies and analyses and usage of ICT. bsw is a certified European training provider according to the DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 and has 220 members of staff. In the past ten years bsw has been a partner and/or co-ordinator in 6 European e-learning projects, e.g. focusing on language learning according to the state of the art technologies and innovations. Uwe Hoppe is a member of the evaluation committee of the European Conference of E-learning.
Kindersite Project LTD (UK)
The Kindersite Project Ltd. Is a Private limited liability company (SME) registered in the United Kingdom. The Kindersite Team have expertise in:
1. Internet and digital communications
2. Using the internet for communications and research
3. Dissemination with a speciality in using the internet
4. Internet technology/websites
5. Valorisation in commercialising final products
6. Strategy and product appraisal
Currently the Kindersite holds a database of over 240,000 schools (primary, secondary, adult, teacher training), institutions, associations and authorities in Europe. The Kindersite has provided a Keynote speaker on communications and dissemination at EU conferences. The Kindersite is results orientated, with considerable success in raising the level of educators becoming aware of projects they are involved within. In past EU projects over 100,000 views of internet project materials and resources have been obtained.
Adult Education Center ‘Baltic Bright' ( Latvia )
Adult Education Centre ‘Baltic Bright' (BB) has been registered as a training centre by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia. BB offers language courses (English, Russian, Latvian, Finnish, French, German) in Latvia and abroad (study travel), and intercultural communication in training. BB has experience in developing training programs, e.g., specialized language training programmes, and an intercultural training program for entrepreneurs.
An important priority is improving the skills of teachers and trainers, particularly ICT skills and using IWB in language training and intercultural program. As part of its development strategy, BB would like to strengthen its internet and online activities, including language training, thus providing services to greater numbers of students. Since 2006, BB has taken part in 4 international lifelong learning projects. BB is a member of Latvian Adult Education Association and of Latvian Chamber of Commerce.
International Education Information Exchange e.V. - IEIE (Germany)
IEIE Stuttgart works especially with migrants and young adults facing special needs and social and economic challenges. IEIE hosts activities in the field of youth service, civil information, vocational guidance and training, intercultural activities, language courses and specific fields of adult education. IEIE is a member of local and regional networks in the region of Stuttgart and in Germany. Special attention is given to non-formal and in-formal skills and competencies of migrants with inclusion of the social environment, family members and peers. IEIE has been running special programmes on bilingual language skills for the last 8 years. IEIE is a part of a network of Greek cultural institutions in Germany and has Greek speaking members of staff.
Lancashire County Council - Lancashire Adult Learning UK (UK )
Lancashire Adult Learning is Lancashire County Councils provider of Adult and Community Education, with a wealth of experience in engaging adults into educations programmes. We provide accredited and non-accredited learning provision across the geographical area of Lancashire, including a comprehensive range of European and international languages and a targeted PCDL programme. LAL are also involved in specific projects, that includes provision for targeted groups such as migrant people, third county nationals and disadvantaged people. In addition to this the Lancashire adult learning deliver language training and a wide range of professional development provision.