Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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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.