Multiplying interactions: iTILT workshop in Nice, January 2016

The first iTILT multiplier event was held in Nice on 13 January 2016; our workshop theme was interaction in language education with technologies.

Participants included trainee teachers, in-service language teachers, teacher trainers and educators in primary, secondary and university sectors, and from a number of different language backgrounds (English, French, German). The workshop was opened by Christophe Bansart, head of Innovative Pedagogy at the University of Nice, the service which manages the university’s participation in iTILT. The programme included a keynote talk by Euline Cutrim Schmid, our project partner from Germany who outlined the pedagogical orientation of the project and our data collection protocol, providing examples from a video communication exchange involving young EFL learners in German and French primary schools. The morning programme also involved a choice between two parallel sessions, one on iPads with young pupils for learning English (Anita Cvetkovic and Euline Cutrim Schmid), and another on podcasting in university language education using the example of German as a foreign language (Bianka Fuchs).

After a buffet lunch, afternoon participants could choose between a session on smartphones conducted by Ton Koenraad, and one on open educational practices by Shona Whyte. The day concluded with a round table which included Christine Schmider, a University of Nice colleague in the German department, who shared her impressions of the day and contributed from her perspective as head of the German Masters in Teaching (MEEF allemand). Three French teachers who are participating in iTILT were able to share their experience and plans. One of those teachers was also involved in the first iTILT project, and was able to pass on insights regarding general language teaching and the integration of digital tools, as well as advice on balancing institutional, project and individual professional objectives in collaborative projects of this kind.

This iTILT workshop thus offered an opportunity to bring together some forty language students, novice and experienced language teachers, teacher educators, stakeholders and researchers to discuss both principles of language learning and teaching and practical concerns with respect to technology use for foreign language education.

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