Analysis of the First LTT GERMANY

Swot Analyses

The meeting was the first mobility and brought the participants closer together. The fact that all visitors were hosted in our boarding house was a chance for building up a good community among the students and the teachers. For those being in Germany the first time, it was a good opportunity to get a glance on Germany and on our culture. As the weather was good in the mobility week, all activities could be done on schedule unless there were wishes to change the programm.

Although the accomodation was mentioned as a strength, it was also a weakness. Due to the fact that we have not much students living in Frankenthal, we were not able to host them in families. It was not good, that we had no common language among the teachers, which made conversation not so easy. We should take care, that at least English is available among all teachers. Even if the App is completed, it will not be able to fill this gap.

As it was the first mobility, we can say it was a good start into the series of mobilities. Due to the choice of accomodation, we built a solid base for further communication between the partner schools. The objectives have been achieved.

Communication can be affected by the lack of a common language, i.e. English. As we all have an important job to do at our schools and none of us is earning its monthly income by participating in this project, we all should do our utmost not to jeopardize the motivation of every single participant in being part of this very interesting project.

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EMATE, Spain Language Week Meeting Report

The first LTT Meeting for the EMATE project took place in the Pfalzinstitut für Hören und Kommunikation, Augustin-Violet-Schule, Frankenthal/Pfalz in Germany from March 27th till April 1st 2017. The meeting was well prepared and all the formalities have been done in good time in advance, so all the partner schools could travel and arrive stressless. All participants were collected from the different airports. The activities requested by the project have all been achieved.

Before the meeting, the students involved in the project, make the translation of the ca. 450 expressions in written as well in vocal in an audio file, which has been incorporated in the EMATE application. Having done this in advance, all the other students as well as their teachers were able to use the application during the stay in Germany. As our school is a special school for deaf and hard hearing children, we are recruiting our students from all over Rheinland-Pfalz. Therefore we were not able to accommodate the students in host families but in the different groups of our boarding house. The teachers as well were hosted in the boarding house. Beforehand we were in close contact with the teachers of the partner schools in order to exchange the student’s profiles and gave the students the opportunity to catch up with each other already before the meeting starts. They were creating their own Whatsapp groups, in which they are still communicating! 

All the foreseen authentic learning, teaching and training activities of the project meeting have been accomplished.

Monday morning started as every morning with a joint breakfast, which was used by the teachers to exchange experiences on the project work. In the morning a trip to the city of Worms, the city of the Nibelungs, was first on the agenda for the day, followed by a guided visit through this very old and historic town. Worms is well known for being a melting pot of cultures throughout centuries, so the participants were faced with a lot of leftovers from those times and the actual life in such a town.

In the afternoon the students participate in the classes and learned a lot about the German school system. The EMate App helped them a lot to follow the lessons. We teachers had a meeting, discussing the progress of the project and the work still to be done. In the evening we had an informal get- together, where other teachers and students from our school joined us.

 After the breakfast on Tuesday there was an official reception by Mr. Wieder, the head of the Bezirksverband Pfalz, a public organization were our school belongs to. After the reception giving facts and figures on the Bezirksverband, a guided tour through the campus of our school took place. It gave all the participants an insight on the organizational structure and the size of our school. 

In the afternoon we had the opportunity to watch a part of a theater play, played by hard hearing students. This proofs how our school is integrating students with disadvantages in school projects. Later on, we had the official reception by the mayor of the city of Frankenthal in the town hall.

On Wednesday we experienced the interactive museum of science, Dynamicum, in the city of Pirmasens, the former center of the German shoe industry. Pirmasens is a good example on how a community can survive, even when an industry disappears. In the Dynamicum one can make a lot of impressing experiments in order to understand the world of science much better. In the afternoon we had a guided tour through the city of Frankenthal. There we had the chance to drop in to several shops selling many things for the daily use. Everybody could practice the German language with the support of the Emate App. In the evening we had a joint dinner with different teachers of our school. Again it was a good opportunity to have a further exchange of good school practice in different school systems.

After breakfast on Thursday, we departed towards Frankfurt/Main, the biggest city in our region. All the participants could see the difference between a smaller town located close to the country side and a metropolitan city like Frankfurt, shining with an impressing skyline. Very interesting was, to walk around the old town of Frankfurt surrounded by the skyscrapers of the international finance industry. Again the participants stepped in many different kind of shops practicing the German language while asking questions to the sales people, backed up by the Emate App. The day finished with a great evening at the wood fire oven on the boarding house campus. There we all prepared the well-known and very tasty “tarte flambee”. This evening had such a good atmosphere, ending up in folkloristic dancing and singing of the single groups, which tightened the friendship among the participants even more.

On Friday another language learning activity was on the agenda, a visit to the weekly market in the city of Mannheim. This was another experience, as more or less only grocery products were sold. Anyhow, a good chance to enlarge the vocabulary! On the other hand it was also a challenge, as most of the people on the market are talking in dialect, which is not easy to understand, even for a German! Being back at school, we got a presentation on how we use IT-facilities in the daily school life including white and smart boards. Moreover, one member of the IT-team explains how we use the programming language Java for our work. In the afternoon the participants made an evaluation of the week.

That day, the week ended with an after work BBQ where we talked the results of the week over. We had beautiful weather, which helps a lot as we didn`t have to change any outdoor program into indoor. Unfortunately our Spanish friends had to leave us already in the early afternoon in order to catch their flight back home. The students celebrated their new friendship till the last minute and some of the teachers took the chance to visit the musical “Anatevka” in the Pfalztheater in the city of Kaiserslautern. 

As a resume we can say, that throughout this week all participants had enough opportunities to use the Emate App in order to learn the German language. For the foreign students it was interesting to see the variety of our students and even if they are handicapped, how easy it is to communicate with them. We had a very positive feedback from the local authorities which shows how important such a project is to enlarge the horizon of a school. All participants were looking forward to the next meeting in Spain.