On Monday 13th October and Tuesday 14th October Almond Vocational Link took part in the Final International Conference for the Montessori Methodology in Language Training. This Key Action 2 project from Lifelong Learning Programme will draw to an end later this autumn.
Partners from Greece, Italy, Romania, Poland, Hungary and UK gathered in Pitesti, Romania to discuss the outcomes of the project discuss sustainability aspect and draw conclusions. The meeting was held at Pitesti University and attended by the project partners, teachers involved in training and Romanian student participants who took part in the language training courses. Our European Project Manager Mrs Janet Wonnacott was joined by Almond’s English Language teacher – Miroslava. The partner meeting focused on execution, dissemination and the future sustainability of this European project as well as financial matters. Simultaneously, there was also a final MMLT workshop directed at the language teaches and interested students.
This is the outcome of the project so far sent from the evaluator Lisa Morris
From Lisa Morris Director at Ilen Associates Ltd
The project is nearing the end and it is clear even though not all the data is yet in, targets have been met and in some cases overachieved. Following the piloting of both the manual and the curriculum in each country with 209 language teachers and 392 adult learners, final versions of both have now been produced. All the partners have been actively involved in consistent review and reflection, requesting modifications throughout the piloting stage. A final modifications list was agreed at the meeting in Plymouth in May 2014.The project stats evidence that all the partners have delivered the number of hours training required for both face to face and online learning as stated in the original MMLT application and reinforced in the curricula for each method – 15hours for F2F and 40 hours for online. Only the UK exceeded the required hours for online learning and Greece for F2F. Retention on the training programmes for both teachers and adult learners has been high, even the online piloting, which often loses as many as 50% of those who start retained 76% of their learners. F2F programmes retained 91.5% of their learners. Additional interesting facts are highlighted:
•Only 12.5% of the cohort are male
•79% are teachers aged 25-50
•12.5% of the cohort were trainee teachers
A number of important outcomes have also come to light:
•The content provided in the first version of the training manual was clearly reflective of teachers’ needs, as so much has been retained in the final version
•The curriculum agreed for the training teachers programme has also been kept as provided in the first version, with only the resources being used to support the training not being used, adapted and added to.
•Partners have decided which resources are most appropriate for them and their target groups of adult learners.
The research and piloting has evidenced that MMLT is an innovative project, with huge potential for impact in the teaching of languages to adults. There is no tangible evidence that there has been any activity where the Montessori Methodology has been promoted within existing language teaching programmes for adult learners and very little in transfer into general adult learner programmes as a concept in its own right. In this regard, the project meets OECD’s definition of innovation in that it:
•The project has resulted in new products such as the training manual and teacher training curriculum for teachers of languages
•The process is innovative in that Montessori is being applied for the first time to language teaching for adults, and has been successfully piloted in this project and evidenced to be successful
•Marketing Montessori to adult trainers and teachers has required a redesign of the Montessori package which is currently focused on children – so a new marketing opportunity is available as well as opening of new markets i.e. the adult learning market
•The project has introduced a new teaching methodology into organisations currently delivering language training to adults.
•The project has developed what appears to be the first online provision for teachers of languages empowering them to integrate the twelve Montessori principles and the three maxims into their teaching of languages to adult learners.
In addition, for some of the partners and unintended outcome has been in using online learning for the first time in their own organisations.
Well done MMLT partnership
Here is what the local Romanian News had to say about this project
Almond’s involvement in this educational project resulted in opening the Montessori Language Cafe. The Language Cafe gives people local to Plymouth but of foreign nationality a brilliant opportunity to learn English. This weekly 2 hourly event promotes the Montessori method as the most effective way of learning English language. This event will continue to run after the project deadline and we hope to expand it in the future.
If you would like to find out more about the Project itself please visit their official website: www.mmlt.eu
To read about the previous Transnational European Project meeting which was hosted by Almond in Plymouth.