Intercambio+ combined with our cultural handbook will unite a complementary partnership with experience in language training, cultural heritage and Erasmus+ VET mobilities. The European Commission has identified language learning in Europe as a specific issue that needs to be addressed. Multilingualism in the workplace is extremely beneficial, nevertheless approximately 50% of EU citizens can only speak and understand their mother tongue. This project intends to overcome some of the barriers of language learning combined with encouraging cultural appreciation, integration and awareness.

Produce a cultural handbook with linguistic assistance, aimed at vocational providers of language learning qualifications and Erasmus+ sending organisations operating in this sector

Promote professional development of staff and learners from all partner organisations, alongside integration of community organisations

Foster greater European cooperation in the both culture and language training

Target Groups

Vocational providers: We aim to disseminate our project results, Intercambio+ and the cultural handbook to many vocational providers across Europe. The guide will help them encourage and
provide practical advice to learners, which will be especially useful should they embark upon either an Erasmus+ mobility or work experience abroad. Through such providers, we expect the project to have a positive impact on these learners, who are predominantly young and interested in working across Europe in linguistic or culture-orientated jobs.

Employers

We hope that the project will result in highly positive impacts for employers looking to hire workers from abroad. The exchange of ideas will inform new ways to implement cultural heritage and
language learning in European courses, thus improving the standard of employee for the employers.
By discussing these key areas with our partners, we hope to improve the access that these employers have to a workforce with sufficient and relevant skills.

Decision-makers and regulators

By engaging these stakeholders with the project, we hope to affect a positive impact in the sense that they will become more aware of the need for discussions on culture and language learning in Europe. We hope to also emphasise to them the importance of providing courses specifically for VET learners who wish to work abroad, as this target audience is likely to continue to grow in the future.

Activities

The main project activities will include:

  • Transnational Project Meetings: Brighton (UK), October 2019; Marseille (France), February 2020; Seville (Spain), June 2020; Dublin (Ireland), October 2020; Matera (Italy), January 2021; Berlin
    (Germany), April 2021; Lisbon (Portugal), July 2021.
  • Cultural handbook and transnational reports: publications made freely available online, to be translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese
  • Intercambio+: an online platform whereby learners, staff and representatives from local communities can access learning materials and arrange social, cultural events with language learning at the core
  • Multiplier events: to coincide with the European Day of Languages and to run an Intercambio+ session with 30 local and foreign participants

Methodology

To understand and evidence good practices in language learning, the partners will contact previous and current learners; conduct quantitative analysis on the importance of languages and different cultures in a national context; and interview stakeholders in the sector to adopt a broader perspective. In combination with the partners’ own feedback from learners and experience in
language training, the project will result in a final transnational report, to be translated into each partner country’s language, as well as the publication of cultural handbooks and Intercambio+
toolkits.

Results and Impact

The cultural handbook will give vocational providers of teaching qualifications the tools to improve training, work placements and language courses for their learners. This result will indirectly produce a positive impact on learners, especially those who participate in mobility projects, in regard to their language skills and therefore employability within the teaching sector.
Transnational reports and the language learning guide will foster interest from VET providers, tourist boards and language schools/colleges in European countries outside the partnership. The primary intangible outcome refers to the professional development of various staff involved in the project, including VET trainers, project managers and researchers.