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Day 1

Dear all,

This is meant to be both an exercise in the use of the platform, and a useful feedback to us as organizers.

Read below an extract of what we promised in our application would be the contents of this workshop.

Do you think this is feasible? Will we achieve these results together? What are your expectations? What can you contribute yourself?

Add your comments below! We’re looking forward to reading them and getting to know you!

– Presentation, both by organizers and participants, of models for organization, pedagogical approach and delivery of initial literacy courses for speakers of other languages.

– Presentation of existing research on the field, and the findings’ implications for further policy work.

– Discussion on the challenges and possibilities of teaching initial literacy in a 2nd language context.

– Discussion on needs, challenges and recommendations regarding policy implications in the areas of teacher training, organization, and development of methods and materials for initial literacy training.


35 Comments leave one →
  1. Matej permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:46 pm

    I think that we have a very good start today. For my country is very important to have programs for inliteracy people. With experience and information from this workshop I can contribute to further developing of basic skills program in Croatia. Despite we do not have so immigrants yet, we must develope basic skils program for for our unemployed people. Literacy is very important for social inclusion so it must be crucial part of program. This will be very interesting week with useful presentation and discussion.

  2. Florence FOURY permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:32 pm

    About the presentation of Helga:
    Unesco has published a booklet that present an experience conducted in Francophone Africa countries called in french “Le guide du facilitateur”. It is a guide for trainers who they come themself from the same community as the literacy learners,
    These are very practical tips for organizing a class alphbetisation and assist learners,
    I have it in french version if someone is interested.

  3. Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:30 pm

    Do you think this is feasible? Will we achieve these results together? What are your expectations? What can you contribute yourself?
    I think the content of this workshop is very feasible and very relevant to the needs of teachers, and teacher trainers + policy makers in Europe. If the goal of european countries is to educate their citizens initial literacy should and must be a part of that policy. I hope we can achieve results together and be part of a further development of EBSN Academy.

    I expect to learn a lot this week since this area of learning is “on a diet” in Iceland and not presently being dealt with at a ministry level. In fact, I hope to learn so much that I can offer the ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland some useful information about initial literacy learning AND teacher training. I am happy to be here with another person from Iceland who works for the Education and Training Service Center because I expect much better results and higher impact from two persons, rather than one.

    I hope to contribute to the workshop by sharing from my experience in teaching and organizing courses and giving feed-back to the presentations and the other participants.

  4. June 2, 2014 12:28 pm

    We are really lucky to have such a variety of people at all levels contributing to the workshops and I’m looking forward to the sessions that will be useful from a practical point of view as a classroom teacher and teacher trainer but also about hearing about policy on initial literacy teaching and training in other countries. There are more and more initial literacy level learners coming into Scotland but I feel very little support is given to mainstream ESOL teachers in delivering effective courses to these learners. At City of Glasgow College we have a number of staff teaching our initial literacy provision, but the majority of teachers tend to shy away from these courses as they feel they are ill equipped to deliver them, My main expectation from the week is to leave feeling inspired by what I have learned from you all to share best practice and ideas with my colleagues at home, in the hope of influencing some changes both in the classroom, at institutional level and perhaps in the wider learning community in Scotland. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy hearing about some initiatives we’ve come up with to support our learners as well.

  5. June 2, 2014 12:28 pm

    One of the things that I will remember from today is the presentation from Sissel, where she talked about the teacher training program going on in Norway and the importance of the get to gether of the teachers, talking about theory and methods and how those fit in with their own experience from the classroom. Just sharing experiences from real life is so important and will never be overestimated I think.

    • Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
      June 2, 2014 12:38 pm

      I agree. The presentation from Sissel was very good and I thought the structure for creating teacher training on initial literacy is excellent and something that I would like to see in Iceland. Sharing – and then developing – using – is a good way.

    • June 2, 2014 12:43 pm

      I found her talk very interesting too. We have a similar course in Scotland. It’s a PDA in ESOL Literacies. Rosie and I have both completed it and I think it helped me a lot with my teaching. It’s not currently essential for teaching ESOL students but I think we need to encourage more teachers to do it. Or perhaps offer similar courses online at flexible times similar to the Norwegian course… or get involved with EPALE – the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. If many European countries already have Literacies courses developed it would be very useful to share them online using this system.

    • Florence FOURY permalink
      June 2, 2014 12:56 pm

      I really agree with you, it is important that trainers share their practices. Sharing of best practices is a true way of training. I work with my network in this direction.

      But now the trainers situation is so precarious because funds are increasingly reduced, to organise meetings is more and more difficult, no funds for transportation, less and less time for the trainers and so on
      For 7 years I have not been able to organize research group with trainers my network, because there is no money
      Despite official statements, education for all is it an objective of Europe? Maybe work ESBN will contribute to a more coherent policy, I hope.

  6. June 2, 2014 12:26 pm

    For the first day, it was nice to introduce ourselves and to identify first common elements related to adult literacy education field. It was very interesting to have a view on the topic related to Norwegian language as a second language , target group = imigrants and to see how Norwegian life long learning development is encouraged. I would like to learn more about how adult literacy education is supported in other countries and I am sure that during the week , we will create an excellent exchange of best practices (based on both formal and non formal aproaches) .
    The objectives for the 1st day of the workshop have been very well structured and gave us the opportunity to create short discussions/ debates regarding the policy implications in the areas of teacher training, organization, and development of methods and materials for initial literacy training.

  7. Diana Bolcs permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:25 pm

    Great opportunity to share best practice, learn from each others, exchange ideas, tips! Looking forward to hear the participant`s presentations and get a overview what is going on in differenct countries related to inital litteracy.

  8. Els Plessers permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:25 pm

    I find it very interesting to hear that, although we all work in different circumstances, we have many things in common. We are all looking for ways to improve the literacy courses to help immigrants participate to our societies. I’m looking forward to learning from the practices in the different countries. I’m happy to be part of this group!

    • Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
      June 2, 2014 1:01 pm

      I also look forward to hear and learn about what we have in common and also about different practices. It will be interesting to learn and see if there is one best way or many good and different ways to teach initial literacy and to train teachers.

  9. Anne McKeown permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:24 pm

    I’m keen to know more about different aproaches taken in other countries to what has been developed in England over the last decade or so. The input today from VOX on developing the content of professional development programmes was very interesting in the inclusion of both bottom-up and top-down approaches, and flexibility at local level to match the local context.

  10. Margaret Benzahia permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:23 pm

    Absolutely delighted to be here and to share good practice with others, I particularly enjoyed the overview of Literacy for immigrants in Norway this morning as I had very little knowledge of the Norwegian experience. Enjoying the marvellous hospitality and really looking forward to more networking and professional dialogue through out the week.

    • Fiona MacKay permalink
      June 5, 2014 7:12 am

      Looking forward to discussions with you Margaret when you return next week as your program for the week looks very interesting.

  11. June 2, 2014 12:22 pm

    The presentations today have been extremely informative. I have been impressed with how progressive Norway is in its approach to delivery of initial literacy courses for speakers of other languages. I am looking forward to the coming week and anticipate that I will gain many ideas and inspirations for the development and improvement of the service my organisation provides to its users.

  12. June 2, 2014 12:20 pm

    Initial literacy must have both a learning and social component. The first one as a tool to communicate in everyday life situations and the second as an integration device in the culture and society of reception.

    There are many approaches and experiences. Easy access for studens as well as training and helpful practical marterials for teachers help a lot to reach the desired objectives.

    • June 2, 2014 12:48 pm

      I agree. I feel that ESOL and integration go hand in hand. The successful ESOL students are the ones that go out and do extracurricular things – volunteer, work, join a club, etc. I think ESOL Literacies should encourage learners to do these things. In Scotland we use the ‘Social Practices’ approach to learning, where leaners are taught essential skills for everyday life – reading an appointment card for the doctor, filling in a form, reading ingredients, etc.

  13. June 2, 2014 12:20 pm

    I consider that the objectives proposed are realistics and achievable! It, of course, requires active participation of every one and a lot of attention – but seeing the group, I don’t think that this will be a problem. My expentations are: to be inspired, to find out information about models that worked and their impact on long term, to develop further actions that will boost literacy education for migrants in Romania and to improve my own work with new ideas and partners. I can contribute with my competences in the field of migrant integration, with my competences in the field of adult education, my desire to develop adult education in Romania (that means a lot of motivation to tranfer new ideas and good practice examples) and my time in order to transfer as much as possible from this experience!

  14. June 2, 2014 12:20 pm

    For the day 1 I find very interesting the presentation of the model of Initial literacy teacher training. I think we can use the cascade model in general, but at the moment it seems as great solutions for developing till the end our basic skills model for adults. The workshop is also a gerat opportunity for exchange practice, to learn about different models of organization and policy in other countiries.

  15. julie permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:19 pm

    I m so glad to meet poeple from so many contries and I m looking forward to share practices. I m curious to learn about different methods

  16. Dee Doyle permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:17 pm

    I think that gatherings such as this contribute substantially in helping teachers to find innovative and relevant ways to meet the challenges they come across in their daily teaching lives.
    The nature of the work is organic and constantly changing, so I’m not sure if we will ever completely ‘fix’ challenges. Staying open and reflective in our own practice is essential. This time in Oslo will encourage us to share ideas and open up to new ideas.

  17. June 2, 2014 12:16 pm

    So far it has been promising. I am sure that I will be able to gather a lot of ideas on how to proceed and also get a better overview of the issues related to initial literacy teaching.

  18. Irene Schwab permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:15 pm

    Today has been a great start. One thing that makes this workshop so special is the variety of participants-both in terms of the roles that people have in their own countries and in terms of the experience they bring. I think we are going to have such an interesting week and we are going to learn so much from the presentations and the participants.

  19. June 2, 2014 12:14 pm

    I think the schedule of presentations cover a wide range of Literacies topics and am keen to hear what is happening in other countries so that we can share best practice. I’m sure we will achieve these results together and be able to work together on other things in the future. I expect that I will go back with many ideas that I share within various ESOL providers and policy makers to enhance provision in Scotland.

  20. Anne McKeown permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:13 pm

    After meeting people today, I’m really looking forward to some great discussions this week

    • June 2, 2014 12:20 pm

      Thanks! It is very important that we do have enough time for discussions. We can be flexible, so please do tell us if you miss more time for discussions. Look forward to getting to know you better during this week, all of you!

  21. Irene Schwab permalink
    June 2, 2014 12:10 pm

    The waffles were fabulous!

    • Dee Doyle permalink
      June 2, 2014 12:12 pm

      Definitely agree with that!

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