Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Palestinian HEls: An e-Learning Initiative that Bridges Educational and Socio-Political Gaps "TEFL-ePal"
The project aims to bring about major improvements in the design of flexible curricula, innovation, digital educational resources, infrastructure, teacher development, professional development, coordinate to promote English T/L, increase linguistic capacity, access to knowledge, and develop skills of lifelong learning in HEIs within EU standards. The project helps to initiate TEFL team and language centers to enhance ICT integration, blended learning & research studies. The special geopolitical context added to the restrictions imposed by occupation, undoubtedly, affects access equitable, and quality education for all students in Palestine. The aim of the team is to make excellence in TEFL available to the widest possible audience through the platform; easy access to knowledge and the availability of OER are a crucial opportunity to focus on one-to-one personalized instruction powered by digital tools adapted to each student’s strategy and solution as it is not restricted to a geographical area, or a specific classroom. TEFL-ePAL will be a platform and reference for educators, students, and professors; it is the first time that TEFL specialists in our HEIs have a channel to work side by side with their European peers who generate mutual understanding, and the first gate for TEFL experts of EU partners to contribute to develop TEFL outcomes.
Chemnitz is interested in participating in this project, because it specialises in teaching and learning English world-wide and wants to support teachers and researchers in this field in countries where this is necessary. We do not gain any personal financial rewards, we would like to share our global practical experience and persepctive with our graduates in Chemnitz and colleagues who visit us from many parts of the world.
Kick-off meeting in Eskisehir, Turkey (January 2019)
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TEFL-ePal Workshop in Chemnitz (June 2019)
The meeting in Chemnitz focusses on 3 special aspects:
- Teaching observation
Participants can visit two types of teaching, English for primary school teachers and English for adult education. All participants will be provided with course descriptions and asked to prepare for these visits.
- Stake holders / language service providers as job opportunities
Participants can choose whether they wish to visit a bilingual secondary school where geography is taught in English, a pre-university college where foreign web-perspective students from abroad are taught in skills, in particular German, which allows them to study at the German university, the local Volkshochschule (extra-mural language courses), or a translation company in the widest sense.
- Research methodologies and discussion
Active researchers like PhD students can attend the PhD Symposium for English Language & Linguistics, take part in an eye-tracking experiment, and visit the virtual reality lab and discuss the opportunities of including these aspects in their own teaching and career.
Work visit Ramallah, Palestine (July 2019)
The one week work visit to Ramallah serves two main purposes (i) to finalize the needs analysis report and to formulate the roadmap for the development of materials to be used at the participating HEIs in Palestine; and (ii) to provide the European partners with first hand experience of the the situation at Palestinian HEIs, to meet teachers and students.
TEFL-ePAL Training Visit Chemnitz (January 2020)
The purpose of this visit is to train our Plaestinian partners in revising and creating text books and teaching materials to be used in the English 101 and English 102, as well as in Beginner classes and Advanced English classes at Palestinian HEIs. The training will build on the experience of using and designing textbooks for teaching English in Germany and will consider the following directives:
- affirm Palestinian identity in a global context
- nurture leadershio qualitites
- co-opt student input
- develop critical thinking skills
- facilitate creativity
- engage learners
- reflect students' diverese interests and elarning proclivities
- conductive to long-term employabiltiy
The materials that will be developed shall be:
- based on authentic materials
- 'technology' driven