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Day 4

Questions for on-line discussion today:

– What were your impressions during the study visit to Rosenhof? What are the similitudes and differences between what you have seen and the system in your own country?

– Do you have any system in your country which is similar to the Hungarian NYITOK? If so, can you explain how it works?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Els Plessers permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:29 pm

    Today’s visit to Rosenhof was a very interesting part of the program. Seeing the teachers and participants at work is a perfect complement to the presentations and discussions. This is what it is all about.
    I think these learners are really lucky to be in Rosenhof. The teachers are very professional and know what their participants need. The combination of Norwegian and literacy courses with the workshops seems to work really good, especially because everybody in the centre makes the women feel comfortable, the first thing you need to learn. I also think it’s very important to aim high and work on skills like coming on time.
    In Belgium – Flanders – Brussels we have programs of integrated language and literacy learning – Dutch and literacy on the workfloor – but they are organised in a different way. Learners start a vocational training in Dutch and our centre provides a language coach who assists the vocational trainer, e.g to make his instructions understandable.
    We have a some courses for women only, to offer them a first opportunity to come out of their houses and learn some basic skills. When we work with groups for women only, I have the impression that we don’t motivate them enough to find a job and be independent, as Rosenhof does. I think we can improve this.

    The Hungarian Open Learning Centres remind me of the early years of the adult basic centres in Flanders in the nineties. These centres have changed through the years of course, but the mission is still the same: offering to people who lack basic skills the opportunity to learn in a place where they feel at home and with appropriated methods.

  2. June 5, 2014 1:29 pm

    Thank you for the interesting visit this morning. Teachers and leaders were very involved in their work. Everything was excellent quality and learners seemed really happy.

    The idea to offer workshops is very attractive to me and I’ll think about it more.

    I wonder if someone organizes activities of family literacy?

    • Florence FOURY permalink
      June 6, 2014 12:12 pm

      This comment is not from Irene, but from Florence.

  3. Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:29 pm

    In Iceland there are Lifelong learning centers around the country. They get a grant from the state – but some get a lot and others very little. For the rest of the financing they have to sell courses. The majority of courses for Icelanders are studies according to curricula published by the Education and Training Service Center. If the centers fill a quota and have a minimum of students they get funding also from the Service Center. Icelandic for foreigners – the centers offer courses and get a small funding from the ministry of education. The res the students have to pay, and some get refunded by their union. The problem if often the small size of the towns that there are not enough students to have higher levels of Icelandic.

  4. Anne McKeown permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:23 pm

    One thing that struck me from the study visit to Rosenhof was the importance of a holistic approach to supporting people towards employment. At Rosenhof this is achieved through a full-time programme of language classes and workshop activities in which participants learn or develop their skills in an environment which simulates the workplace, with strict time-keeping and attendance. This takes place in a supportive environment and a stimulating physical space, but with realistic attitudes to the real labour market and job oportunities for people with developing langage and literacy.

    I was trying to think how this could relate to the experience of ESOL learners entering the labour market in England. Over the last ten years or so, we have had many initiatives in which language and literacy is developed alongside other vocational and creative areas, some very successful, some less so, and mostly dependant on current thinking on policy and funding. I think the biggest driver at the moment in ESOL provision is for employability. In NRDC research into existing ESOL provision for the Association of Colleges, carried out in 2013, we found a huge increase in employability-led ESOL provision. Learners are mandated by the Job Centre to attend a certain number of weeks ESOL and employability training. Many of this new cohort of ESOL learners were found to be at beginner levels and many with low-level literacy skills. The providers we talked to reported that this type of provision worked best when the provider – the further education college or training provider, was able to work closely with the Job Centre to shape the provision, to ensure that learners had a realistic chance of developing skills within a reasonable timeframe. The other element that I think is really important in helping people towards employment is the development of good links with local emplyers, to support progression beyond the training programme. Emily gave us a good example from Glasgow City College of ESOL programmes for vocational routes in which learners progress straight into employment as a result of good links with local employers.

  5. Diana Bolcs permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:22 pm

    The study visit to Rosenhof was amazing! “Quo Vadis?” I really loved their holistic pedagogical thinking and that they highlight the importance of being on time and the trust in own resources! I think this education with focus on the future working situation is really efficient! I was impressed with their shop where they are selling the goods they made and it made me think that in our 50 Open Learning Centers would be nice make a similar shop or to establish an on-line surface where we can sell the product made in the centres.

  6. June 5, 2014 1:21 pm

    The study visit offered an educational role model about how a learning process is succesfull when it is related with a work activity. The system used tacle the learners how to organise their lifes and give many learning opportunities both in formal and non\formal safe environment. As an improvment, I think the transferabløe skills gained during the training perioad should be recognised by a certification qualification. ( similar with VET
    During the writting to read class I felt like a student and I have the chance to be tough by the school centre learners.I think that the softwere Voxit SPEAKAPP should be introduce as support in each centre who supports adult education literacy.
    Also, on the traditional class where we had the chance to assit we have seen a creative teacher who had an holistic pedagogical approach in order to satisfy each learner needs from the class.
    about the 2nd answer. in my city there are sevelral NGOes who provide trainings for disatvantaged adults – economical\ social\ law issues- in order to support their life development. The trainings are in different fields and usually are related with future work activities. Also there are many centres – developed under different EU programmes- but sometimes is very hard to support the project sustenability if the municipalities are not interested on the benefits of this centres for the community.

  7. June 5, 2014 1:18 pm

    It was really nice to visit Rosenhof and to be able attend real class and see how the teacher works with illiterate immigrants was a new experience for me. Also Quo vadis and the work of the women there was impressive. The quality of the things that are produced are excellent and the things were really beautiful. I wish we had something like this in Iceland.

  8. June 5, 2014 1:18 pm

    The visit was inspiring … many new elements … nice to know that in this world exists such learning places. I appreciated a lot the work of the teachers – they are using elements that I also use in my adult education – respect of the learner, interactive methods, phizical movement. I also felt the learnes motivated and involved. I would like to have an study exchange between the teachers from this centre and the ones from Romania. I consider it that is very needed to change the mindset in education – esspecialy in initial adult education. Romania from many points is very fare from the model that I saw, but even so – I think that there are elements that can be transfer it – in fact addapted.

    I liked a lot the Hungarian model – it is much more closer to our reality and I think that we can do a similar initiative in Romania – it is much needed, of course also this one addapted (I personaly don’t belive so much in transfering of best practice example – I am more interested to find out why that initiative became in that specific context a best practice example – what elements helped that project to be succeful, what is the cultural – economic – social context … and so) – in this regard I am very interested to find more about Open Learning Center – to understand what worked and what didn’t – what can be used and how? (I see here a bright future 😉

    The problem with this centers is that are not sustinable – I you ask me! In Romania there are thousands initaitves funding with external funds (creat ones with huge impact) but not on long terms because there are not takeing over by the local authorities – so my question is how you ensure that the centers are still functional after the funds finished? This kind of projects should be a least half supported by the local authorities but how you handel the future if the local authorities are not interested? – and yes, we have tried parthnerships – they are not working after the fund is finished. Any suggestions?

  9. June 5, 2014 1:16 pm

    What an inspiring trip to Rosenhof today! I thoroughly enjoyed observing the first lesson with the literacy class. The teacher was highly-skilled and created a very positive learning environment. I was interested to observe that literacy and language were very much integrated in this classroom, far more than I had expected given our discussions this week.
    The classroom had a very traditional layout, which surprised me, but the teacher really took advantage of the technology in her classroom to focus learners on various words and sounds. The all female morning classes are an interesting concept, but probably not one our equalities office would embrace but I can undertsand why creating a safe environment for women new to learning is so important.
    Quo vadis….wow! I cannot wait to return to Glasgow to sing its praises. It is everythng you could dream of for an inclusive and engaging learning environment. So inspiring that learners with very limited Norwegian can access such training and learn skills that would only be abstract in a traditional classroom. I think it is definitely something we could investigate back home in Glasgow as our College already has lots of different departments and is very much promoting inter-departmnetal collaboration.

  10. Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:14 pm

    I was quite impressed by the work they do in Rosenhof. It seemed organized and relevant but also very ambitious. The students looked both busy and happy and thai is important. The facilities are very good and the IT rooms excellent. I would love to have this in my school. We have laptops instead and that works fine but I would like to have i-pads and use the write to read program. The teaching style was good and I liked to see how the teacher mixed language using and practicing writing. The pride of the schoolmaster of her students and the school was also inspiring.

    There are the same amount of students there as in my school (immigrants), but the majority of the students in Iceland study in the evenings. I know there is a need for similar projects in Iceland but there still is nothing quite like this. The main problem in Iceland is that the students have to pay themselves qute a lot of money for courses and each course is usually 60 class hours. For special projects, like for unemployed it might be 120-240 class hours. The illiterata students with little or no schooling are also “hidden” because there is no law that says that they have to go to school so it is hard to get to them.

  11. June 5, 2014 1:14 pm

    I was very impressed by the Rosenhof. A beautiful new building with very hi-tec teaching facilities. Hopefully our City of Glasgow college new build (2016) will be similar!

    In Scotland we mix male and female students together, so it was interesting and thought provoking to see them separated. Although I think the Scottish system seems to work well for us it might be something to look at or trial.

    In regards to the employability side of the Rosenkopf I thought it was great to teach students skills such as weaving, ceramics, knitting, sewing and catering. Their products were beautiful and I could have bought the entire shop if I had enough money! I agree that it is an excellent way of equipping students with transferrable employability skills but feel that perhaps more realistic work skills to suit the labour market would be better. It’s a pity there are not many jobs for weavers or textiles in the western world. I hope in the future that City of Glasgow College will offer ESOL courses with additional vocational skills units such as Hairdressing, Social Care, Childcare or Catering.

    At City of Glasgow college we have been working in partnership with Bridges Programmes. They train and provide work placements for non-native immigrants to Scotland. The college delivers ESOL for Social Care, Customer Care, Employability, Construction, Childcare and Finance, then learners progress to workplace training, work placements and employment. Around 85% of students that attend the ESOL for Social Care course get a job afterwards. These courses were designed in response to the Scottish labour market and students are given skills that are realistic to employers needs. They were also identified as an example of Effective Practice in ESOL by the Scottish Government.

    The college also helps students to gain employability skills by having a JobClub which they can attend after class. The JobClub helps learners with CVs and Interview tips and helps them to find employment or a voluntary placement.

    The college also provides ESOL for Employability courses for the Department for Work and Pensions (the UK body for employment). Students attend 12 hours of classes for six weeks and are given work tasters in which they shadow employees of the college or other partnership organisations.

    In regards to NYITOK, we have various community learning centres. Local councils usually fund the adult learning courses for ICT, literacy, ESOL, etc. In Glasgow this is co-ordinated by Glasgow Life and Glasgow’s learning. Classes are provided at centres wherever there is a need and sufficient funds to do so.

  12. June 5, 2014 1:13 pm

    – As for the first question: Rosenhof is an amazing school. I was really surprise about the size and resources. It’s witty to have all these women in the morning with both literacy instruction combined with certain sort of training skills for worklife, with the whole process of it (production and selling), in an integrated context of school and social welfare integration. I’d have liked to see the evening atmosphere, with men and women.
    In education we don’t have this kind of schools (for just immigrants). In our schools (of different sizes – from one teacher and a couple of classrooms to the biggest with 20 teachers in may be 2 or three buildings located in different parts of some cities-) the ofer of courses is open to all kind of adults, Spanish and from abroad, being Spanish language and culture just one course of a menu of 10-12 different courses (primary for adults, preparation for secondary official exams, preparation for access to formal VET or even University, ICT, ESL, Entrepreneurship, Andalusian environmental and monumental heritage, Good health habits and risk prevention).

    – As for open centres, we have something similar: “Centros Guadalinfo”, depending on the Regional Ministry of Innovation and Industry. They are basically well equipped ICT centres in villages with less than 20.000 inhabitants, where people can go and improve their ICT skills for school or work. Depending on the centre, they may be opened just i the morning, he evening or both. In many cases, they are located in municipal building, door to doorr with our adult schools and cooperate for certain actions/courses jointly.

  13. Margaret Benzahia permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:10 pm

    Quo Vadis? – A very spacious, well resourced and organised facility for immigrant women, introducing the women to basic education, social skills and emphasising that Rules are very important in Norwegian society. A fair but firm approach is adopted from the outset and a daily register aswell as a clocking in and out system for the women working on the Project enables the women to understand what may be expected in a workplace.

    This is a great opportunity for the women and I really liked the fact that practical skills are included, whether it be cooking, sewing or weaving. In the classes that we visited the women appeared to be enthusiastic and happy to be in the classroom and the initial lessons in the Norwegian language meant that we were all particicipating together in no time. I think that offering 3.000 hours of Norwegian language courses and making them compulsory for new arrivals is a good initiative towards integrating the women. Thank you to all who made this visit possible as it is one of the highlights of the week for me so far.

    I do wish the Hungarian NYITOK project all the very best in the future and admire the time and effort it must have taken them to reach the point they are at now. Thank you Erika for your presentation. I am unaware of similar projects in my country but perhaps it would come under the umbrella of Community Learning Development.

  14. June 5, 2014 1:10 pm

    I was very impressed with the beginner literacy teacher. I thought she maintained an excellent balance between language and literacy work in the classroom and she moved from activity to activity smoothly, keeping all the learners interested and active.
    In the IT class, the learners also seemed very motivated and the programme enabled them to be quite independent but I would like to have seen more variety in the tasks and more use of the learner’s creativity.

    I think the teaching we saw was not so different to teaching I have seen in English classrooms but the idea of integrating vocational work with beginner language and literacy learning is new. In England most vocational courses are not open to learners until their language is at a higher level. The products they were making were beautiful and I imagine they feel a sense of achievement when they have made something like that, but I did wonder whether it might have been more useful to learn skills that would be of more practical use for gaining employment in Norway. The question for me is how much does such work empower the learners and how much are they just doing what they are told to do?

  15. June 5, 2014 1:05 pm

    I thought the set up at Rosenhof was excellent. I was very impressed with the use of the interactive whiteboard for basic literacy. The students were using the board with great ease and seemed to enjoy the experience. The workshops were impressive, and the quality of goods in the shop was excellent. This kind of initiative would be very welcome for migrants in Ireland especially as a means for greater integration with the community for women who have had little or no exposure to education in their own countries.

  16. Dee Doyle permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:04 pm

    It was very impressive. The classes thmesleved resembled my own very much. The teacher was responding to the expectations of her learners regarding what a class should look like, ‘Transmission’ model. After some input, she got students moving around, role playing, coming up to the board – transferring to Communicative/Acquisition model.

    The Computer class was very interesting. I got to speak to many of the learners and their profiles were very similar to my own group. The software, writing to read would be a great addition in our centres.

    I once had an all-women’s group and this visit reminded me about the advantages of this approach. As the Director said, it helps women who come from very different systems to feel ‘safe’ at school. After a year or so, they may be placed in mixed classes.

    In particular, I was impressed by the variety of learning opportunities afforded to the learners: language, catering, textiles, etc. I have worked in mixed course centres, but the students were enrolled in one area only. I think the Oslo school’s approach would be a welcome innovation to our learning systems. The Oslo school also valued the importance of arriving on time, learning to learn, preparing for economic independence, etc. I applaud this wider approach to education and the growth of the learner – preparing them for life in their new country.

    One thing I might suggest would be certification for catering/textile skills to allow the women to find work in a hospital or company canteen or a machine shop. We heard that they receive a certificate from Quo Vadis which may be added to their CVs, but if they move to another area, perhaps a national cert – rather like our FETAC 3 certification in Ireland, might help them to transfer their skills to a new area job market.

  17. julie permalink
    June 5, 2014 1:03 pm

    The visit we made today was very interesting for me. I think poeple in charge of founding for education in Belgium should visit that school and see what you can actually do when you put a little bit more of money in the educational system…
    I was also surprised by non mixt groups wich is a big discussion in my centre and I m looking forward to be back home to discuss about the advantages and disavantages. Anyway, I really liked the social approach of that school.

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