Elos celebrated its 10th anniversary in autumn! A contribution of the Basque Elos Team. Click on the picture to read the article
Like every year during the week of the 9thof May, Europe Day, ELOS Basque Country schools carry out different activities that have to do with European issues. However, this year we thought that we had to do something else, something to enhance our European values. Why not to focus on the importance of learning languages? So we decided to arrange a common event for the students of our schools: Aniturri, Antigua-Luberri, Botikazar, Ekialde and Urola. Something to link studies and business.
We looked for professionals who were committed to the business world and arranged a conference in which four representatives of different professional fields took part. We wanted the event to have an institutional character, so our coordinator Conchi Bergera moderated the conference, which was opened by the head deputy of the Innovation Department of the Education in the Basque Country and Elvira Etxebarria representative of Bilbao’s council.
First of all we would like to thank the lecturers for their generous cooperation: Yon Barrenechea, a businessman in the field of industry, Irune Cachorro, a physician and business woman in the field of medicine, Jesus Ugalde, an international Basque researcher in the field of chemistry and Oskar Aranzabal, an experienced person in the field of exportation worldwide. We asked them to speak about the importance of learning languages in their professional life.
We were around 200 students in the audience all coming from our different schools. The conference was undertaken entirely in English, as all of the students are bilingual in Basque and Spanish with a good knowledge of English. The lecturers gave us a brief talk about their professional and personal experience and their views concerning language and the globalized world. At the end of the talks came the question time, so students had the possibility of going into detail about their worries.
We would highlight some key ideas as conclusions: The absolute need of a good knowledge of English, the importance of communication, of being a good communicator in order to do business or the importance of a good knowledge of the culture of the countries you are doing business with.
After the turn of questions we had a snack and all the participants, students teachers and lecturers could speak closely to each other and exchanged experiences.
Concerning the dissemination of the event, the national coordinator and one student of each school were interviewed for “Deia” and “Noticias de Guipuzcoa”, two high circulation newspapers in our country. The day after an article about ELOS and the event was published. This is the link where the article can befound:http://www.deia.com/2014/05/11/politica/elecciones-europeas/europa-se-diluye-en-la-escuela-no-me-interesan-las-elecciones-europeas
The event was very successful and everybody involved agreed that it had been very rewarding. So we definitevely agree with Mr. Wittgenstein, the limits of our language mean the limits of our world!
Contributed by Antigua-Luberri, Basque Country
Aniturri BHI (The Basque Country) is a secondary and post-16 school located in the administrative village of Agurain, which is 20km away from Gasteiz, the capital city. This is an area where Basque language, one of the oldest languages in the world, is recovering from its lost. The school gathers 290 students (aged 12-18) from nearby small rural villages. Although Basque is the main teaching language, Spanish is the mother tongue of many students. We joined the ELOS net 7 years ago and the European Studies programme five years ago as a result of an innovative project on European Dimension we carried out under the guidance of the Basque national coordinator, Conchi Bergera.
We teach Citizenship and Civic Education in English implementing Content and Language Integrated Learning approach (CLIL/AICLE), and some other subjects’ units of work are taught in English. Apart from European innovative projects, the school is an ICT School and the schools runs projects such as Applying ICTs at the science lab, Agenda21 environmental project, Basque Language Normalization Project, The Coordinated Approach to Teach Languages and Improving the Quality in Teaching Management, all of which help us improve students’ motivation to learn and learning to learn skills as well as to ensure that all pupils succeed in completing their education.
Aniturri BHI won the first edition of the Inter-School Competition on Consumer Classroomlast summer. This website was lunched by the European Commission to offer consumer education resources from across the EU, along with interactive and collaborative tools to help prepare and share lessons with students and other teachers.
We designed a digital poster focused on sustainable consumption based on the topic we were working on our Comenius partnership European Eco Warriors 21. The project we presented to the European Commission includes audio visual work, some videos and an e-magazine, which covers the Environmental problems the Earth is facing. EU Consumer Commissioner Neven Mimica said on this occasion: “The winners have shown how a great idea, enthusiasm and hard work can give a fresh perspective and raise awareness about ever evolving consumer issues. The Consumer Classroom is allowing teachers and students from all over Europe to think creatively about consumer topics and share their inspiration and their educational resources.”
The prize gave us the opportunity to travel with 42 students to Brussels in November for three days and visit the main European Union institutions. During the visit to the European Commission on 25th November, students asked the European Commissioner some questions that were decided with parents and the wider community, as we invited them to suggest us questions we could pose at the Commission. The video of the trip to Brussels has been finalized and published on the Consumer Classroom website, Facebook, andYoutube. It includes interviews to teachers and students that enhance the impact of the Elos project in our school and the enriching opportunities they have been provided through their European and international experiences. Meanwhile, we shared somepictures on a canvas and the video of the award ceremony on our blog.
The spell of good streak continued in Leuven at the European Studies programme conference in March. Our group J15 was awarded for excellence in group collaboration of partner schools across Europe. Pupils communicated and shared project work within their group and developed ICT skills, research and cultural awareness in collaboration with their peers.
Contributed by Idoia Zapirain, Aniturri BHI – Basque Country Elos Team
Elos, stretching borders web