As language teachers we believe that we can play a role in the process of breaking down of the cultural and linguistic barriers that still divide our neighbouring countries: in order to achieve this goal, we need however to promote teaching tools, methods and activities that enable students to reach a linguistic competence that goes beyond the survival language, by understanding the in-depth social–cultural aspect of the neighbor language.
In this perspective, teaching to write with proficiency in an L2, both at a personal and professional level, appears of utmost importance, because it leads the students to a deep reflection on their own identity with regards to the identity of the “other” language.
Being aware of the importance of the L2 writing ability in education, we have decided to team up to develop a virtual laboratory devoted to L2 writing in Czech, German, Italian and Slovenian.
Wrilab2 addresses the needs of
- students of Czech, German, Italian and Slovenian studying one of these languages as a foreign language in one of the partner countries, both at secondary school and university levels;
- non-native (adults included) students with migrant backgrounds, who need to improve their written language in their host country. Such students are studying Czech, German, Italian and Slovenian as second languages;
- teachers in secondary schools and universities who teach any of the languages offered by the project as a foreign language or second language;
- adults employed in the journalism, tourism, commerce and public administration sectors, interested in improving their writing competences in one of the four L2 proposed.
Wrilab2 aims at
- offering free interactive language learning materials, specifically designed for the teaching of writing to foreigners in the four languages included in the project;
- paving the way for a discussion on the European level involving both universities and schools with regards to the methodology and the assessment criteria for the teaching of writing (especially of an argumentative nature) in the four L2s included in the project;
- creating the appropriate framework for teaching writing to foreign students, ie. a Moodle based on-line laboratory where a vast typology of texts can be analyzed and explained and the students can be guided during their writing process, from the draft to the final revision, learning to write with a “readerly” sensitivity
- promoting the creation of virtual communities, that will enable students to stay in touch with native speakers fellows and teachers to exchange materials and good practices;
offering didactic writing seminars for teachers in the four L2s included in the project (Spring 2016);
- offering on-line writing courses (level B2-C1) for each L2 involved in the project (January-June 2016).
Wrilab2 Kick-off meeting, 6-7 March 2014