The PUpils on the MOve (PUMO) Project has released the first public version of their open educational material course, designed for teachers of pupils living away from their home countries.
Mobile students face specific challenges
The recent rise in migrant workers, both within the European Union and elsewhere, has led to a large increase in the number of pupils attending schools away from their home countries, with classes in a foreign language and following a different national curriculum. When they return to their home countries there is a danger that they may have lagged in development compared to their peers. This is particularly likely with their native language and literature skills and with other subjects that have a specific local relevance – such as history and geography.
About the course
The PUMO course contains four modules to assist teachers in their teaching skills, enabling them to support students develop the culture and language of their ‘home’ countries alongside the education they are receiving in their country of residence. Each module has an estimated duration of ten hours and includes technology-enhanced aspects to take advantage of recent innovations in education.
The first course module informs participants about the latest concepts in multicultural education and intercultural pedagogy, detailing the role of the teacher in mobile students’ learning process. This provides an overarching theoretical basis for the remainder of the course.
After establishing this theoretical basis, the second module reinforces teachers’ practical skills for teaching and designing learning materials which integrate first language learning and ‘homeland-specific’ subjects. An example of the latter would be the respective history of the student’s country of origin.
The third PUMO module leverages recent innovations in distance and technology-enhanced learning to improve the learning quality for the target students. The provision of these tools reflects the mobile needs of PUMO students and the sometimes necessary geographical flexibility in educating them.
Finally, the fourth PUMO module addresses organisational and networking skills among teachers. This module has a special focus on the challenges and necessities of distance learning, such as how to inspire motivation in the learners, as well as communication with parents.
How to participate
The course is available in English, as well as Estonian, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, and Portuguese and will be practically evaluated in these countries in 2014.
Potential users of PUMO interested in participating in the course or disseminating it through their own institutions can contact the project consortium through their website at www.pumo.info.
The use of ICT by adult migrants for learning the host country language (or second language, L2) is a topic which crosses three policy areas at EU level: immigration and integration policy; information society policy; and education and training policies. All three areas are currently addressed by flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Second language acquisition by adult migrants is perceived as a crucial factor for socio-economic and cultural integration. Several EU Member States have actually introduced compulsory L2 requirements for migrants, and a major effort is underway by a large number of stakeholders to assist migrants in enhancing their L2 proficiency, even where no binding requirements exist. ICT has started to be used in this context and is looked at with increasing interest as a means of helping with both the quantitative and qualitative challenges of L2 education.
This report reviews the current challenges of L2 provision and provides examples where ICT has been implemented to by-pass or solve these challenges.