Outside-in: bringing the community into school – motivation for languages

Author(s): Filomena Dos Reis Conceição
Institution/Organisation: Escola Secundária de Tomás Cabreira, Faro (PT)


The school is an upper secondary technical and vocational school in Faro in the Algarve, a major tourist area in Portugal. Because of the central approach to education in Portugal the school is not free to develop a language strategy but it strongly promotes language learning as a central element of vocational courses. To increase student awareness of the importance of language competence and an awareness of other cultures for their future employment prospects the school organises talks given by employees from local multinational enterprises. They describe their jobs and the context in which language is important. Student interest and competence in foreign languages has noticeably increased as well as their understanding of the role of languages in the work place. An increasing number of visits are made by students to local enterprises and a number of work placements have been arranged. There has been crucial support from the University of the Algarve.

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