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Report on seminars - FCSH/UNL (PORTUGAL)

Bilinguismo e Imigração nos Países do Mediterrâneo

The first dissemination seminar organized by the FCSH/UNL team, took place on September 9, at FCSH, Lisbon.

 

The team centered the structure of the seminar on four main objectives:

(1) to present the initial results of the Questionnaires data analysis to the participant schools and other agents in the educational system;

(2) to present examples of good practices in the linguistic integration of foreign born students;

(3) to reflect upon the adequacy of existing materials and activities to the linguistic diversity present in many of the Portuguese schools; to discuss proposals for the creation of teaching materials and activities that may facilitate the learning of Portuguese as a Second Language and the promotion of multilinguism and multiculturalism in the classroom.

The morning session focused on the presentation of the MERIDIUM project and of the questionnaire objectives and preliminary results by team members Ana Madeira and Isabel Tomás. A third presentation, “Bilingual Education in Portugal”, by Dulce Pereira, coordinator of a pilot project (ILTEC) on bilingual education in the public school system, discussed the bilingual experiment and its results so far, followed by the distribution of the MERIDIUM CD-rom and Brochure.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the presentation of an ongoing project centered on the creation of materials and activities for the multilingual classroom, by Luísa Solla (ILTECH/ESE Setúbal). The participants, divided in two work groups, discussed and identified the shortcomings in the teaching materials available to them and the need for more effective and creative materials. The final synthesis of the discussion conclusions ended the program.

Attendance was unexpectedly smaller than the team had anticipated (18 participants), given the publicity efforts (emails to schools, teachers associations, relevant FCSH departments etc.) started in July, and the follow up in the last week of August (new round of emails, press releases, and publication in relevant sites (MERIDIUM FCSH page, ILTEC, FCSH). Overwork and the lack of interest in seminars which cannot be credited by the national certification agency for career advancement purposes (one day seminars do not qualify for accreditation) were quoted by the participant teachers as possible justification for the lack of attendance. The possibility of organizing a two day seminar later in the school year that would include a formative module on multilinguism, integration and multiculturalism, was raised by participants.

Another proposal coming out of the lively discussions was the continuation of the MERIDIUM FCSH page as a site where teachers could discuss and present their experiences in the multilingual classes, simultaneously serving as a repository for materials and activities created by them.

 

Annexes to the report:

- Project presentation [pdf]

- MERIDIUM Questionnaires / Data analysis [pdf]

 

 

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