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)


1.1 Scope of the initiative

We are trying to put a language strategy into practice to motivate students to learn languages. This strategy is connected to the basis of the courses involved in the study – vocational courses. The belief in a close relationship with external stakeholders in students’ field of interest is at the core of our task force. These vocational course students sometimes do not understand the need of a multilingual competence for their future profession so that this project can be an opportunity to make them feel open-minded about learning foreign languages and to improve their multilingual competence.

1.2 Range of languages studied

Mainstream English and English for Specific Purposes make part of the curriculum, though, whenever possible and reasonable, students become aware of how advantageous it is to know other languages.

1.3 Learning outcomes

The expected learning outcomes will hopefully be to develop English language competence, to promote multilingual competence, to reuse transferable skills and to increase knowledge of the world of work.

1.4 Practical realisation

We have been sensitising students to multilingualism and, specifically, to languages learning in professional contexts. This school year we have just started to establish contacts with professionals of international enterprises to come to school and to present their activity and their language problems in this tourist region we live in – the Algarve. Here English is absolutely a need, but it is definitely not enough. They should explain students not only which linguistic problems they feel, but also which intercultural constraints they face in the world of work.

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