About the project

Tempus Project 544161-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-UK-TEMPUS-JPCR Aston University “Developing the Teaching of European Languages: Modernising Language Teaching through the development of blended Masters Programmes”

The project

The project focuses on improving the learning and teaching of European languages in Uzbekistan by adopting a cascade model of teacher education for long-term sustainability. The cascade model will enable larger groups of school teachers to be trained in a relatively short time period with minimal resources and will allow institutions and schools to prepare learners for the requirements of HEIs in the framework of the on-going reforms of education in the Republic aimed at internationalization.

The central activity is therefore the development of a masters programme for current and prospective teachers of European languages (mainly English, French and German). The masters programme, provisionally MA in Modern European Language Teaching (MELT), will introduce innovative learner-centred methodologies tuned to the EU standards. However, special attention will be given to adapting programme content to the needs of the local context where appropriate. The project will be a based on collaborative development and initial delivery of the MA with a gradual.

Duration

The duration of the project is three years (36 months),

from December 2013 to November 2016.

Objectives

The Objective of the Project is to contribute to modernization and internationalization of the societies in the partner countries (PC-s) through curriculum reform to enhance capacities of HEI-s and secondary schools for teaching European languages. In this way the project will address the national priorities for the programme Tempus for all the PC- s involved, will strengthen the interaction between higher and secondary education sectors and will facilitate the overall reform of the national system of education.

The Objective will be implemented through accomplishing the following Specific Project Objectives (SPO):

  • Develop a new model for teacher education;
  • Create a pool of retrained teacher educators who will train new trainers in a cascade model;
  • Develop and introduce a new 2-year masters programme for both pre- and in-service teachers of French, German and English;
  • Design an e-learning capacity for school teachers to improve access to teaching/learning resources;
  • Create potential for internationalization through an on-line network of trainers.


The development of a new model for teacher education build on the study of current policy and practice in language teacher education in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

  • A pool of retrained teacher educators;
  • A new 2-year masters programme for both pre- and in-service teachers of French, German and English, as a first step towards harmonizing and modernizing the curricular for school teacher education and LLL-based professional development courses;
  • Development of e-learning interactive language capacity via an on-line platform for school teachers to improve access to teaching/learning resources.

To achieve the project goals 7 work packages (WP-s) are envisaged, each supporting one or several of the Specific Project Objectives (SPO-s). The WP-s are goal oriented in the following strategy: 

WP1 is aimed at the elaboration of methodology for development of both trainer training and mastersprogramme.

The first task of the project is to establish current policy and practices in language teacher education in the partner countries (PC-s) and provide studies of European good practice. A survey of current practices in all three PC-s will be carried out. At the same time, selected groups from the PC-s pay a 2-week visit to the European partners with the purpose of analyzing methods of training and resources used. 

WP2 is linked to SPO 2 and involves training an initial group of language teacher educators, modernisation of the teaching environment at PC institutions and the set up of the Web-based trainer network. 

WP3 involves project members from both EU partners and PC-s working collaboratively to establish the exact content of the blended mastersprogramme and to design and prepare the materials for both face-to-face and teaching on-line elements. 

(WP4) Once the programme has been designed and all the materials prepared, a pilot phase of joint delivery will take place, with trainers from EU partners and PC-s working alongside each other for the period of one academic year. EU partners will visit PC-s for face-to-face teaching sessions, which will be jointly delivered. 

During this phase, feedback will be collected from both trainers and trainees enabling adjustments to be made to the curriculum, syllabi and materials for the 2nd year of delivery. At this stage, the programme will be handed over entirely to the PC-s for continued delivery and dissemination. The quality monitoring at the implementation phase will be supervised by the EU partners and TSU as the PC lead university. 

WP 5 will ensure the quality of the project in all its dimensions. A Quality Plan will be developed in the first quarter of Year 1, including a variety of measures: risk analysis and adjustment measures; regular monitoring of the academic mobility effectiveness; quality control of designed courses; internal QA reports; institutional audits and an inter-Tempus coaching; an external audit of the project, validation of the ECTS accumulation for LLL. 

(WP6) will focus on two main areas, a summative conference and the launch of the web resources to an international audience. It will therefore build on a carefully designed strategy and will involve all the means available: institutional communication networks, mass-media, information leaflets and brochures; the project web-site; conference activities. A concluding conference will be a finalising event. Sustainability of the project will be determined by institutionalization of the project outcomes and integration of the developed curricula in the project life time. 

Efficient management  (WP 7) is an essential condition for the project success. Adequate role allocation and clear distribution of duties are part of the overall strategy. The project management will respect the following principles: regular communication via email, telephone and Skype; active involvement of PC staff; transparent and consensus-based decision-making; clear and efficient planning, evaluation and reporting; equal gender distribution.

The sustainability of the project

The sustainability of the project will be ensured by successful implementation of all project activities. The project will have a tangible impact and multiplier effects through the following foreseen measures:

institutionalization of the project outcomes: all necessary infrastructure will be in place and the newly-developed MA will be piloted during the life-time of the project;

the strengthened links with the decision-making bodies: support from the management of partner universities and educational authorities will be ensured via their direct involvement in the project activities;

direct involvement of PhD and Master students will provide for future continuity of the reforms;

self-financing models for provision of professional development courses (already in place in some HEI-s);

awareness of the key stakeholders supported by the post-project dissemination strategy;

enhanced capacities for internationalization at the PC institutions, measured by the numbers of bilateral agreements and new joint projects.