The project “IC-ENGLISH - innovative platform for adult language education” has been implemented since 2018 as part of the Erasmus+ Programme (Strategic Partnerships for adult education). It is the result of the cooperation between three organizations from Poland, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
The partners had noticed the existence of common problematic issues in the field of English teaching to adults, such as: overloaded textbooks with too few exercises activating new material, problems with understanding grammatical sections in textbooks, teachers' lack of knowledge about andragogy, learning styles, motivation, diagnosis of needs, recognition of learning convictions as well as skills in how to translate all this into adult classes. Moreover, it has also been observed that low attendance may pose a challenge as language learning requires regularity; however, adults are often overburdened with work on a daily basis and find it difficult to combine their office and home duties with learning. What is more, the development of natural communication in speech is of importance since adults often use a studied version of English.
Hence, we have decided to develop an innovative approach which involves storytelling, Kolb's effective learning cycle, 4 learning styles as the starting point for an individual approach to adult learners. We have established an international interdisciplinary expert team, with the following specialists engaged: highly experienced English teachers, a teaching methodologist, an expert on andragogy, a psychologist, a multimedia and e-learning specialist. The IC-English method is a set of tools that consists of training materials for adult learners, a practical e-handbook and a set of e-learning lessons. The team have been working on a unique and original language course which comprises 3 levels (A1, A2, B1). The course is designed to resemble a TV series, split into seasons and episodes instead of typical lessons. We follow the adventures of the main character Amelia Coral. In the first season we follow her holiday adventures and accompany her in making new friends. In the second season she arrives in the UK, settles down and finds a summer job. In season three she is already married with a toddler daughter. We can follow her family life and professional development on emigration.
After a year of project implementation, the initial version of the results was completed. The time for the testing phase came; therefore, we invited a group of over 20 experienced English teachers from three partner countries for 3-day workshops. The INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS took place on 20th-22nd of November 2019 in Lublin (Poland).
During these workshops, our experts presented the results and requested feedback from the participants. Thanks to their hard work and commitment, our intellectual outputs have been tested and we are now able to improve them. It was an interesting exchange of experiences. What did the workshops participants say about the lessons? Let's get to know some opinions:
- Filipa “(…)The products shown will be an asset in any English Language lesson- the topics explored are very realistic, universal and so easily relatable, too! I believe these lessons can be used by a wide number of adult learners from a wide range of nationalities. I am deeply grateful to be a part of such a great project! Thank you all!”
- Laura “This experience reminded me of why I enjoy teaching English to adults and how they motivate me to always do my best and go beyond what was defined. (…) The products developed by the experts were quite original, but most of all practical, connected to real life, engaging and easy to follow, both for students and teachers.”
- Paula: “The materials offered for analysis promoted the reflexion about all these aspects and their discussion. The real life situations presented in the e-book are truly interesting, useful and may easily complement our lesson plans, making them more appealing for our students.”
- Cesar: “I was really enthusiastic about the whole idea behind the method which you want to implement. I believe it can really work. It still needs to be polished but it seems that the path is clear and accurate. I especially love the concept of learning as if I was watching a TV series about some characters. It will definitely be an eye-catcher for students. I hope to be able to work with this approach someday in the near future.”
- Wioletta: "Having a chance to preview the new language course for adults was an eye-opener for me because its underlying formula of practical, conversational vocabulary is an idea never-seen-before on the market of language courses. "
- Agnieszka: "I could see a different point of view of teachers from 3 European countries. This meeting changed my style of teaching a little bit and I’ll try to use new methods and ideas during my daily lessons."
- Weronika: "I think that the project will bridge the gap between adult students' needs and the materials available on the market."
These voices have convinced us that we are going in the right direction, but are also a guide to what needs to be improved. The final version of outputs will be ready soon, which will be followed by the dissemination phase. If you're curious, visit our website https://ic-english.eu/