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ABOUT OUR PROJECT - Development of Competences of Spanish Language Teachers for Early Language Education in the Digital Age

The project sets its priorities within the field of pedagogy and didactics, early childhood education and quality improvement of teaching methods

The project "Development of Competences of Spanish Language Teachers for Early Language Education in the Digital Age" (DeTELEDA) sets its priorities within the field of pedagogy and didactic, early childhood education, and quality improvement of teaching methods. In line with this, the activities of the project are geared toward improving quality of Spanish language education to young students.

L2 learning at an early age differs significantly from adult foreign language learning. For children, the target language is not an object of study, but a vehicular language, much like their first language – it is used as a means of communication in playful, learning activities. Naturally, this calls for a specific teaching methodology and teachers educated for working with young children.

Nevertheless, foreign language teacher education administered at university centers accredited for teacher education rarely have an opportunity to provide intense formation in early childhood foreign language education since it demands a combination of diverse philological, psychological, pedagogical and other requirements. On the other hand, the need for teaching Spanish to children is evidently present both in the domain of formal, non-formal and informal education and calls for the realization of additional L2 teacher education in line with the state-of-the-art trends in the field.

As a response to the perceived need, this projects unites teacher educators and Spanish language teachers from three countries and with diverse backgrounds to fulfill the following objectives:

- To improve Spanish language teachers' competences for teaching Spanish to young children and to develop their digital competences in order for them to be able to respond to the needs of the contemporary education.

- With these goals in mind, the project team will create a training program for Spanish language teachers that will focus on developing specific knowledge and skills for teaching young children. The participants will develop competences for teaching Spanish language to young students and they will also increase their knowledge of digital resources in L2 education, so that they may adapt them to the needs of this specific target group of young learners. In addition to broadening their theoretical understanding of early childhood foreign language education, the participants will also be equipped with concrete tools and solutions that may be readily implemented in their teaching practice.

- The project will produce a corpus of teaching resources as well as teaching guidelines that will include a concise elaboration of relevant didactic principles, typology of activities, and illustrative examples for teaching Spanish as a foreign language to young children. The guidelines will be published at the project website and at the educational Moodle platform in order to enable further dissemination of project results. Thus, all interested parties will be able to access and apply proposed training programs, guidelines, and teaching materials for the development of teachers' competences for teaching Spanish as a foreign language at an early age.

- Four multiplier events and a number of other activities will be organized by the project team in an attempt to spread information about the project, disseminate its results, and promote tighter collaboration among different stakeholders.

- Last but not least, it is our valued goal to strengthen the professional community of in-service and pre-service Spanish language teachers from Serbia and Slovenia, but also to involve a wider community of Spanish L2 teachers through different platforms of online communication and collaboration. The project website and the Moodle platform will be maintained and renewed even after the project's completion in order to provide a virtual hub for teachers' continuous education and collaboration.

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