Foreign languages are currently part of all European countries’ national educational curricula (most students are introduced to their first foreign language between 6-9 years of age). Experience and research results (1/0716/13 VEGA project) confirmed that Slovak students have a relatively good theoretical knowledge of English but lag in its practical use. The situation is the same in the Czech Republic and Poland. It means that after several years of studying a foreign language at school, most young people in Central Europe are unable to communicate in the language they have learned.
To reduce this drawback, Jan Amos Komenský Primary School in Sered in partnership with three universities with an international reputation in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland, primary schools in the Czech Republic, Poland, and a renowned publishing house in Slovakia have started the implementation of the international project LIRE (Language Interpretation through REading) since 1 Sept 2020. The LIRE project focuses mainly on supporting English language teachers in primary and lower secondary education.
The project aims to combine different methods to strengthen the professional teaching profile that would help change the foreign language teaching through the extended reading to an exciting adventure for students.
Research shows that students who read a lot become better readers, have better writing quality, improve their language skills, and enrich their vocabulary. The LIRE project will equip teachers with comprehensive methods and tools to support and enhance their teaching practices.
What are our intentions?
- to provide the innovative, tailor-made methodological materials for English language teachers; moreover, relevant competencies to strengthen the foreign language teaching of primary school pupils,
- to create a practical training program and an open interactive space for English language teachers to acquire and exchange know-how on how to improve their teaching practices further,
- to develop pupils’ literacy, critical thinking, analytical and communication skills, and creativity through a new approach to foreign language learning.
What are the planned outcomes of the project?
– LIRE Toolkit for Teachers (O1) – a methodological guide for teaching English,
– LIRE Practical Workshops for Teacher Training Providers – teacher educational program,
– LIRE Online Platform as a freely accessible interactive tool for teachers.
What is the goal of the project?
Our efforts will focus on developing a comprehensive set of tools that will cover all three project outputs. Cooperation between primary schools, universities, and the publishing house will not only contribute to high-quality outcomes. It will also ensure that target groups are provided with primarily tested resources to ensure maximum applicability, usefulness, and potential for further use.
Who is the project for?
The target groups of the LIRE project are:
– in particular, English language teachers in the primary and lower secondary level of elementary schools
– pupils aged 8-14,
– teacher training providers, such as universities, continuing education institutions, and language schools and associations.
Who are the project partners?
The project partners are the renowned universities (the University of Prešov, Masaryk University in Brno and the University of Lodz), the primary schools (Tišnov Elementary School, Smíškova and Elementary School with Integrated Classes No. 111 in Lodz) and the professional publishing house (Dr. Josef Raabe Slovakia, Ltd.).
Meeting of LIRE project partners
The 1st official international meeting of LIRE project partners took place online on 29 September 2020. The partnership meeting coordinator and organizer was Jan Amos Komenský Primary School in Sered (SK). The meeting was attended by representatives of all LIRE project partners from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland:
– the University of Prešov, Dr. Josef Raabe Slovakia, Ltd. (SVK)
– Masaryk University in Brno; Tišnov Elementary School, Smíškova (CZ)
– the University of Lodz; Elementary School with Integrated Classes No. 111 in Lodz (PL)
The content of the meeting:
– introduction of individual partners,
– presentation of the LIRE project and getting acquainted with the project documentation and funding rules,
– start of work on the 1st intellectual output (design of structure and content)
The aim of the meeting:
– to agree on the form and scope of the questionnaire for primary school pupils and teachers (all partners will create the questionnaire),
– to negotiate the choice of graded readers (primary schools will decide on 12 titles of levels A1, A2, B1),
– to create the content and structure of the 1st intellectual output of the project (O1) – LIRE set of materials for teachers (partners from all three universities and the Dr. Josef Raabe Slovakia publishing house will work on the creation of O1 during the first half of 2020).
– implementation of a questionnaire survey at the partner schools in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland,
– work on methodological materials for English language teachers at the primary and lower secondary level of primary schools,
– preparation for the second meeting of the project partners in August 2021 in Lodz; the presentation of the first (draft) version of the methodological materials (ML); the opportunity to comment on the draft version of ML,
– incorporation of comments and preparation for testing of created methodological materials directly at the partner primary schools.