On February 12, the opening of the kick-off meeting of MultiED project “Foreign Language Teacher Training Capacity Development as a Way to Ukraine’s Multilingual Education and European Integration” took place at Zaporizhzhia National University (ZNU, Zaporizhzhia National University) in the framework of the Erasmus + KA2 programme “Development of Higher Education Potential”. Christian Klauks and Alexandra Golovko, project managers of the University of Tartu; Susan Garton and Elisabeth Wilander, professors of Aston University (Birmingham, Great Britain); Stefani Witzig and Leone Ekzarkos, professors of Heidelberg University; Hans-Werner Huneke, rector of Heidelberg University, participated in the kick-off project meeting.
Zaporizhzhia National University was represented by Mykola Frolov, ZNU Rector; Yurii Kaganov, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work; Halyna Moroshkina, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Philology; Alina Osaul, Head of International Office; Alexandra Golovko, MultiED project manager from the University of Tartu; Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova, Vice-Dean for the International Cooperation and Project Management of the Faculty of Journalism, Associate Professor of Journalism Department.
It should be noted that Zaporizhzhia National University with 14 partners of International Consortium won a grant from the European Commission for the Erasmus + programme, aimed at reforming the higher education system in Ukraine with other partner countries. In the following three years (2019-2022), over 900 thousand euros will be spent by partners, including 8 Ukrainian universities and three European (Estonian, German, and UK universities). In particular, ZNU will receive an amount of 100,000 euros. Moreover, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, English Teachers Association of TESOL, and the public organization Interlink (Germany) participate in the project. The consortium participants are as follows: the University of Tartu (Estonia), the coordinator, EU partners: Heidelberg University of Education (Germany), Aston University (Great Britain), Interlink Academy (NGO, Germany), Ukrainian Partners: Zaporizhzhia National University (national coordinator), V.O. Sukhomlynskyi National University of Mykolaiv, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy, Poltava V.G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University, Donbas State Pedagogical University, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, English Teachers' Association “TESOL-Ukraine” and Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine. The project is a continuation of the fruitful previous cooperation between the University of Tartu (Estonia) and ZNU since 2016. The project, on the basis of ZNU, is implemented in the framework of the Faculty of Foreign Philology in close cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism. Project managers and professors have been working really hard for 2 years to create this project.
Under the umbrella of the project, Ukrainian professors will go on study visits to European Universities, receive valuable equipment (audiovisual presentation equipment, multimedia boards, etc.), and it will help them to update foreign language teacher curriculum, and to develop a number of foreign language training courses on the basis of European experience (Academic Writing, Media Literacy, Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages, etc.). As a result, it will bring Ukrainian education to a higher level of internationalization and European integration. ZNU, within the project framework, will get support from Estonian, German, and UK universities. Through such cooperation, foreign teachers will be able to provide professional guidance in foreign language teaching methods for UA HEIs and ZNU in particular. Moreover, cooperating with leading European educational institutions, ZNU teachers and students will be able to get knowledge from native speakers, and the university will receive modern equipment and an updated curriculum as well.
ZNU Rector Mykola Frolov, addressing the conference participants, noted the importance of this international project for the reform and development of higher education. Mykola Alexandrovych dwelled on the material and technical base of educational institutions, students, and personnel, university achievements of ZNU that celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. He also noted that the university provides training programmes for secondary school teachers in 10 specialties, supporting regional secondary schools in the reforming process in accordance with the principles of the New Ukrainian School. ZNU will keep on teachers’ training for secondary schools in the future. Moreover, ZNU will focus on good practices in learning foreign languages for university academic staff. Welcoming the participants, Halyna Moroshkina, Associate Professor and the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Philology, went into details of Zaporizhzhia National University important experience of participation in various international cooperation programmes with Slovenia, Poland, Germany, France, including the Double Diploma Programme with the University of Le Mans (France). Furthermore, the Dean of the faculty noted the significance of the introduction of multilingual education at the faculty of foreign philology, cooperation with secondary schools in foreign language teachers' training, involving of foreign experts in faculty teaching, etc. In turn, Alina Osaul, the Head of International Office, noted the importance of expanding borders, introducing multilingual education, developing the potential of foreign language teachers training, reforming the higher-education system, participation of ZNU scholars in various international programs. Svitlana Shitikova, the representative of the Erasmus+ office in Ukraine, joined the kick-off meeting in Skype session, and highlighted the importance of supporting the development of higher-education potential and reforms in Ukraine.
According to Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova, Vice-Dean for the International Cooperation and Project Management of the Faculty of Journalism and MultiED Erasmus + manager, ZNU has become National Coordinator of such a large all-Ukrainian project for the first time. The manager of the project says: “It is very important for ZNU as we have declared ourselves as a center for multilingual education, where teachers can upgrade their skills in Methods of Teaching English and other languages. We are also going to develop distance education, courses in media literacy, academic writing, we’ll update curriculum in accordance with European standards at the Faculty of Journalism and the Faculty of Foreign Philology, working in close interdisciplinary cooperation”.
The foreign guests shared their vision on working principles, main directions, structure, and priorities of the project, explaining all the features in detail. The partners introduced their educational institutions, outlined the achievements, and expressed their expectations from the project. Foreign colleagues from Estonia, UK, and Germany were introduced to the international activities, methods of teaching foreign languages at the faculty of Foreign Languages, material and technical base of ZNU. Ukrainian and foreign professors commended creative and friendly atmosphere, the enthusiasm of Zaporizhzhia National University administrative and academic staff, seeking to work together for further prosperity of the HEI, their interest in the development of educational technologies in teaching foreign languages.
It should be noted that the framework of the three-day kick-off meeting suggests sessions for administration and management members of the project on the principles of project financing, reporting documents, workshops on CLIL methodology, project questionnaire methodology, quality control and the development of curriculum, which will include courses in media literacy, academic writing, methodology of teaching foreign languages). Moreover, the project participants will be familiarized with the principles of curriculum development in Estonia, the UK, Germany, innovative methods of foreign colleagues in the field of education, curriculum requirements, principles of internationalization of education, etc.
Duty holders of MultiED from ZNU: Hennadii Vasylchuk, ZNU Vice-Rector; Halyna Moroshkina, Dean of ZNU Faculty of Foreign Philology; Svitlana Zapolskykh, Head of ZNU Department of Theory and Practice of Translation Studies; Alexandra Golovko, MultiED Project Manager from Tartu University; Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova, Vice-Dean for the International Cooperation of ZNU Journalism Department.
Project duration: 11/15/2019 – 11/14/2022
Key priorities: education (updating of the curriculum “Teacher of a Foreign Language”, introduction of new teaching methods), internationalization, lifelong learning.
MultiED main stages:
1) updating of Bachelor and Master Curriculum – Specialty “Teacher of a Foreign Language (English, German, French, Spanish)” based on the European Qualifications Framework. Developing the Recommendations on curriculum topics and subjects in accordance with both Ukrainian laws and European Union standards;
2) adaptation and implementation of advanced methods of teaching foreign languages in Ukrainian educational process, application of interactive methods, student-centered learning, communicative approach, CLIL methodology (content and language integrated learning aimed at teaching courses in a foreign language using special approaches) and curriculum update with these methods;
3) elective courses in English introduced for Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. students (“Introduction to CLIL Methodology”, “CLIL methodology”, “Foreign language Acquisition”, “Cultural Anthropology and Linguistic Diversity”, “Scientific Research and Academic Writing”, “Media literacy”);
4) the development of a Strategy for multilingual education and introduction of courses in English to provide efficient professional training of highly qualified graduates, fluent in English and to strengthen the level of internationalization of partner universities and the potential of higher education in general. This strategy will be the first step towards faster internationalization of Ukrainian higher education;
5) “International Week” for 80 participants from different Ukrainian and European higher-educational institutions that will allow them to get to know each other and establish links for further international cooperation;
6) training for teachers through numerous workshops on various methodological aspects of teaching foreign language and through workshops for school administration in order to disseminate European experience in the area of adopting multilingualism and teaching certain courses in English/German (1900 participants), etc.;
7) popularization of blended and lifelong learning among teachers, provided by free workshops with European experts delivered in various regions of Ukraine, the development of the “CLIL Methodology” online training course for teachers. It will be jointly developed by all partners with European universities support and will allow Ukrainian universities to develop high-quality online education courses in the future.