By the Erasmus+ project ‘Development of Foreign Language Competences and Acquisition of New Methodological Strategies Aiming the Renewal of Educational Practices’ the Mindszenty Primary, Secondary and Boarding School in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary’ set the aim of the methodological renewal of language teaching for the sake of a more effective mobility of students within the European Union. The methods of 21st century education are often outdated, thus the applying teachers felt the need to be renewed in their methodology and to extend their teaching practice by new foreign methodological elements aiming the enhancement of efficiency in language teaching.
Their goal was to train students with practical language skills who both in higher education and in the course of their tertiary studies and voluntary work abroad are able to cope with linguistic challenges. For the acquisition of the required communicative language competences, the applicants felt the necessity of the introduction of a new creative and dramatic teaching approach based on interaction.
Five of their colleagues applied for teacher training courses. The courses chosen comprised two drama courses in Britain and one methodology course in Austria for which three of their colleagues applied. One colleague attended a German language course in Germany because in order to obtain her master’s degree she needed to pass a B2 language exam, which she successful did.
The present project is the result of teamwork. Having taken a proper professional survey, the colleagues were chosen to be in the team by the preceding discussion of their needs. They agreed on the most appropriate courses. Their institution provided linguistic, methodological and practical coaching and the applicants were accompanied throughout the realization of their course. On returning home the participants summarized the attained knowledge to share them on local and regional forums. With the help of demonstration lessons and modern media they distributed and popularized the new methods.
The individual mobility projects developed teachers’ linguistic, methodological and intercultural competences. The newly attained teaching methods (communicative teaching ideas, the usage of Information and Communication Technology, authentic and cultural teaching materials, etc.) laid the foundation of a reformed language education in their school. Thus drama has become an approach which they utilise in their language education as well.
Their short-range plan was the didactic improvement of language lessons. However, their long-range aim was the renewal of language education in their establishment, which they have successfully begun. The colleague applying for a language course passed the B2 German language exam last August and received her MA degree.
As a result of the project we realized six mobilities: we attended five teacher-training courses and one language course took a successful B2 language exam in German. Furthermore, it resulted in the methodological renewal of German language education, as well as the integration of drama techniques in our English teaching. We organised English theatre plays with the active participation of students for our school and town, took successfully part in a Shakespeare drama competition, in which we got into the final round, we organised three educational trips to Vienna and London, participated and organised internal forums and appeared in publications in our town and county. Finally, we put down the new basics for our partnership with a school in Bratislava.
In the long run all these achievements are going to affect the methodology and versatility of our school. Our colleagues’ higher preparedness is going to affect the efficiency and enrolment rates of our school. With our achievement at the drama competition ‘Shakespeare Lives In 2016’ we placed ourselves on the map of Hungarian drama education. The much favoured educational trips provide opportunities for language practice also in the future. In our view our partnership with Bratislava can be expended into a flourishing European three or more party cooperation in the future.