Context and targeted needs
The European societies and educational systems are becoming increasingly multicultural and multilingual due to the increased mobility and migration from European and non-European countries. Within migrant groups, there are 32% of adults with basic literacy skills and only 13,9% of them are familiar with the language of the host country (Eurostat, EU-LFS (2014). The educational institutions and educators are facing two challenges: to provide the newcomer students the possibility to acquire the language of the education as soon as possible, and to help them to maintain their native language. Even though these challenges are usually resolved at the policy level, they are not always effectively met in the teaching practice. That situation can lead to decreased access to education, early leaving from the educational system, and a missed opportunity to fully develop potentials of the students with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds (migrants, asylum seekers, national minorities such as the Roma minority etc.) and because of it they can be perceived as a distinct group of disadvantaged young learners (DYL). In order to make the education of the DYL more effective, it is necessary to provide students with more learning opportunities and educators with additional training.
A great potential for a more effective education of students lies in the opportunities to help the students to develop literacy and language skills not only in formal learning situations but also in non-formal and informal situations. The proposed project addresses this opportunity and by inclusion of all types of learning it encourages cross-sectorial connections (schools, and universities). The innovative approach in this project comes from its transdisciplinarity and its focus on formal, non-formal and informal learning. The project will focus on the design of transdisciplinary materials for the development of literacy and language skills for disadvantaged young learners (age 5-11) by using non-formal, informal and formal learning situations more effectively.
The project has four expected outcomes:
- report of the activities of good practice
- transdisciplinary literacy developing activities
- database with transdisciplinary prompts for literacy developing activities manual for teachers/educators
The created transdisciplinary materials and activities for the development of literacy, which will be available on the website of the project in four languages (Englich, Croatian, Macedonian and Sovenian), will be implemented in teaching process in both primary and higher education level. Through its dissemination activities (seminar, workshops, database, medias), the project will provide teachers and educators with new, innovative and more effective learning and teaching materials and with guidance material for literacy development and language skills.
The project partners are four institutions from three countries:
Croatia – University of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education and Elementary school Ivan Gundulic Zagreb
Slovenia – University of Maribor
Macedonia – Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
Since the partner institutions participate in education at different levels and since there are considerable differences in the educational systems between the countries, exchange of knowledge and experience of the project team members will bring a new perspective to the topic of literacy development of DYL.
The project will enable stakeholders in the field of education to get insights into models of inclusion of disadvantaged students in different countries, which might initiate changes at the level of educational policies. Overall, the project will increase teachers/educators competences and awareness of the importance of informal and non-formal learning situations for more effective education of disadvantaged groups of learners in schools and other learning environments.