Monday, December 18, 2017
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The fourth project meeting in Časlav, Czech Republic

Sixteen representatives from eight European and Turkish institutions came to our little town to discuss what has been done and has to be done on the project “Language skills and intercultural issues in hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU market”.

The host of their regular project meeting was our school which took over this baton from Turiba University.  The participants of the meeting evaluated the outputs of the project which is now in the second half of its period. We have already finished the A2/B1 and B2/C1 courses including the modules introducing the culture and countries of the project partners. These courses have been piloting since September so that the feedback from the students, teachers and adult learners from the industry could provide us the hints for their improvement. The tool for processing the feedback questionnaires was introduced to us by prof. Ineta Luka from Turiba University.   

Then Hilarija Lozančić  Benić from Turistička i ugostiteljska škola Dubrovnik evaluated the work on the A1 course. From her report we could see that all four modules are being filled with exercises, videos and games according to the project plan. Nevertheless, some exercises are still necessary to upload or correct by December and each project partner got the detailed instructions what to do. 

The last item of the meeting programme dealt with the organization of the multiplier events - the meetings of VET teachers from home and a foreign country. Our school has to organize such a meeting in spring 2018 with cooperation with VSŠ Murska Sobota.

The project meeting was very successful for our school. We managed to meet all our obligations concerning the first two courses and have some feedback after piloting them. The last A1 course is nearly finished. Of course, there is still some work to do and some tasks to correct. In addition, we have to prepare the multiplier event, which will a new great challenge for us. However, now we feel pleased because our partners were satisfied not only with our work, but also with the facilities our school provided for the meeting and its programme.   

Pavel Kluh

Project manager of Czech team

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Third project meeting in Riga, Latvia

On April 27-29, 2017 Turiba University in Riga, Latvia hosted the third meeting of Unity In Diversity project partners. The aim of the Erasmus+ project “Language skills and intercultural issues in the hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU labour market” (Project No.: 2016-1-HR01-KA202-022160) was to discuss designing the curriculum, presentation of the course structure, creating the videos, reporting on the B2/C1 curriculum, reporting on 30 case studies, face-to-face tasks, intercultural module, reporting and unclear issues of the country modules and preparing for piloting B2/C1 English course.

On 27 April, Head of language department of Turiba University and Ineta Luka welcomed all project teams and opened the meeting, greeted the project partners and wished to have a productive session.

Later on Pavel Kluh (VOŠ, Časlav) presented and explained what a A1 learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing and what input and output materials should offer.

In pairs, partners wrote dialogues which were going to be used as scripts for the videos shot the next day. 6 dialogues were written: Welcome to our hotel, Welcome to our restaurant, Taking an order, Checking-in, Checking-out, Complaints in a restaurant.

On 28 April, partners made necessary changes to the dialogues that had been written the previous day and adapted them to the A1 level.  Partners were divided in groups and they shot 6 videos: Welcome to our hotel, Welcome to our restaurant, Taking an order, Checking-in, Checking-out, Complaints in a restaurant. They used dialogues written the previous day as scripts for the videos. Later on the results obtained were evaluated and further objectives were set.

Then Ineta Luka (Turiba University,Riga) took the floor and reported on changes that she had made in the B2/C1 Curriculum. Hilarija Lozančić Benić gave an overview of the work done on the modules Hotel Reception, Restaurant, Restaurant Kitchen, City, Hotel Business centre and Management Offices and explained to all partners how and what  to prepare  for piloting A2/B1 language course extended to 16 languages and B2/C1 English course.

On 29 April, first half of the day was spent on administrative issues pointed out by project coordinator and she reminded all partners to keep the deadlines especially the interim report will have to be submitted to NA for the first half of project period. The last half of the day of the meeting was dedicated to touring Latvia‘s most beautiful sights. The project partners visited Sigulda and the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.

After planning future tasks and further activities, the project partners agreed that the meeting has been very productive and the intended outcomes have been attained. The next meeting is scheduled in October – November 2017 in Časlav, Check Republic.

Hilarija Lozančić Benić, TUSDU, Croatia

Project meeting in Vilnius 2017

On January 26 – 28 Vilnius Business College hosted the second meeting of Unity In Diversity project partners. The aim of the project was to discuss application of gamification elements in foreign language teaching using Moodle platform and creating special tasks online, to discuss the work done and plan further activities to be carried out until the next partner meeting in April in Riga, Latvia.

On January 26 VBC managing director Jolanta Skirgailė opened the meeting, greeted the project partners and wished to have a productive session. Guest lecturer from Mykolas Romeris University Marius Kalinauskas gave a lecture about Game Elements and Game Design Techniques in the Context of non-Gaming for learning purposes; Benefits and Challenges. The lecturer shared his experiences about students‘responses to the use of gamification in lectures as well as for evaluation (badges, symbols, feedback). He also noted that gamification elements can be means to engage students into learning activities and encourage them for further research.

Later on VBC teachers Gitana Čechamirienė and Dr. Violeta Jadzgevičienė conducted a hands-on workshop on Virtual Learning Environment; Moodle Plug-ins with Gamification Elements. Project partners learned to create electronic gamification elements in Moodle (crossword, hangman, sudoku, ladder, etc.) which make the learning process more engaging. After the workshop, project partners shared their experiences, insights and remarks on benefits and application of these elements.

Project partner from Murska Sobota Ekonomska Šola Dejan Petje demonstrated how to upload practically data onto the Moodle platform. All partners shared their opinion about intergating gamification elements into language learning tasks.

On January 27 Prof. Ineta Luka from Turiba University in Riga spoke about blended-learning curriculum and its challenges, also she discussed with partners creating case studies with possible issues of intercultural communication. A teacher from the same university Valerija Malavska presented the structure of intercultural module. Later on F2F tasks for other modules were analyzed by a lecturer of Sapientia University Dr. Zsuzsa Ajtony. Project partners shared ideas about the structure and content of modules created by respective countries. Erna Voroš (Ekonomska šola) presented curriculum in 16 languages. Together with David Sephton from the UK (Primrose) they discussed translations, mobile app and online tasks. Then Simona Pellizzari from Italy (IPSSA Nino Bergese) and Hilarija Lozančić Benić from Croatia (TUSDU) took the floor and analysed further tasks.

In the morning of January 28 project partners gathered together to discuss administrative issues. They were presented and explained by the project coordinator Hilarija Lozančić Benić (TUSDU). The partners agreed upon the next project partner meeting in Riga, Latvia, which is scheduled for April 26 – 29, 2017.

After finishing the project activities, project partners with colleagues from Vilnius Business College visited the Dukes‘Palace where they got a lot of information on the history of Lithuania, other nations and their common interrelations, saw the artefacts found in the Palace location and enjoyed the panorama of Vilnius.

After lunch, project partners completed the meeting being very happy about the work done and questions discussed. They also planned their activities for the coming months. The three days‘meeting was indeed productive and responses from the partners really positive.

Vakaris Šaulys

Project manager

Vilnius Verslo kolegija, Lithuania

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Kick-off meeting at Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota

The kick-off meeting for the Erasmus+ project “Language skills and intercultural issues in the hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU labour market” (Project No.: 2016-1-HR01-KA202-022160) was held in Murska Sobota, Slovenia, from the 13th till 15th October 2016. The project meeting was organised by the project partner Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota. The main project coordinator, the Tourism and Catering School Dubrovnik (Croatia) and representatives of all other project partners, Turiba University (Latvia), Primrose Publishing (UK), IPSSA Nino Bergese (Italy), Universitatea Sapientia din Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Vyšší odborná škola, Střední průmyslová škola a Obchodní akademie, Čáslav (Czech Republic), VšĮ Vilniaus verslo kolegija (Lithuania) and KÜTAHYA İL MİLLÎ EĞİTİM MÜDÜRLÜĞÜ (Turkey) participated in the meeting. 

The project aims at creating an interactive blended learning language course „Unity in Diversity” comprising on-line learning materials available on the Moodle Learning platform and face-to-face interactive materials incorporating case studies, games, problem-solving tasks, videos, etc. targeted at developing VET learners’ language, intercultural and digital competence, creativity, problem-solving skills and flexibility. The complete course will consist of three courses: 1) a new interactive A1 language learning course in 16 languages (CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, GR, HR, HU, IT, LT, LV, RO, RU, SE, Si, TR) containing such modules as “Welcome”, “Hotel”, “Restaurant”, “Professional skills”; 2) A2/B1 language course extended to 16 languages comprising such modules as “Hotel Reception”, “Restaurant”, “Restaurant Kitchen”, “City”, “Hotel Business Centre” and “Management Offices”, the first two also as smartphone apps, the module “City” accompanied by 3 interactive maps and 3 inside hotel maps; 3) B2/C1 intercultural English language course comprising 8 modules “Hotel Front Office”, “Catering Service”, Hotel Management”, “Conference and Business Services”, “Off-site Services” and “Financial Management”, an intercultural module revealing cultural sensitivities of the nine partner countries and nine country modules featuring the main tourist information required for work; the course will contain case studies, videos, on-line modules and face-to-face problem-based tasks. 

The kick-off meeting started with a warm welcome address by the main project coordinator Hilarija Lozančić Benić. Although most of the project partners were acquainted with each other through participation in various other EU projects all partners shortly introduced themselves and their institutions. After that participants could get down to business. The first point on the agenda was to give a brief overview of the project itself, the key outputs and the various milestones of the project in order to ensure that all project members had a common understanding of the main goals and objectives of the project. Preliminary dates were agreed upon for the forthcoming meeting in Lithuania in January 2017.

Hilarija Lozančić Benić then went on to describe the management and coordination framework of the project and participants agreed upon the various reporting templates, means of communication and issues concerning the sustainability of the project. Issues regarding dissemination and valorisation of project information and results were also discussed and finalized. In the afternoon a workshop followed. The topic was Blended Learning and it was held by Dr. Ineta Luka from Turiba University, Latvia. 

The second day of the meeting started with another workshop on Case studies, held byDr. Ineta Luka from Turiba University, Latvia. Both workshops were extremely important as they gave us guidelines about how to create the material for VET learners. Detailed discussions were held on the first project outputs that had to be completed and presented at the next project meeting in Lithuania and the roles and responsibilities of various partners were once again clarified.

The third day started with the presentation of the Moodle e-learning platform and some technological issues were discussed.

The agenda also included a short guided tour of the town of Murska Sobota and the visit of the traditional fair, which takes place on 15th October every year. At the fair products from local craftsmen and producers, such as food, wooden ware and clothes are offered.

At the conclusion of the meeting partners reviewed and finalized all the immediate deadlines and bid farewell to each other.

Erna Vöröš

Project manager

Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota, Slovenia

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.