WEBS is a current best practice Erasmus exchange project between four bilingual schools from Spain, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands (www.bilingualschools.online.) In the almost two years we have been working on WEBS (2018/ 2020) we have learnt a lot about the participating schools and their countries, about the way bilingualism is tackled in Europe. Our students have made long-lasting friendships and improved their intercultural skills, as well as their second or foreign language skills and their ICT competences by writing 'old-fashioned' penpal letters, editing videos and designing posters, as well as participating to quizzes. Besides, the teachers have been sharing and exchanging teaching materials, thus enriching and easing our teaching job.
WEBS has helped us realise that there are two different approaches of what is called 'bilingual system' in Europe and that there is a difference between what we call bilingual and the CLIL system. A difference not only in the teaching methodology, but also in our bilingual students' and teachers' identity. Being a bilingual school ourselves, we would like to exchange our best practice with other bilingual students who share this hybrid identity. It is indeed important for our students to meet students from other European countries, who feel like ours claim to feel: German when in Spain and Spanish when in Germany. Meeting pupils who feel the same will give them that feeling of belonging and understanding of this new European generation with a completely new identity.
Our projects’ main goal is the exchange among four bilingual schools with focus on teaching/learning about common European roots and the way it affects bilingual identity. Our students shall share their knowledge and ideas with one other through pen-pal letters, they will film and edit videos, short movies and podcasts in English and in all the languages they speak, they will edit a digital magazine in English, an e-dictionary and a Must and Never Code on cultural behaviour. They will participate to short-term learning and teaching activities, too. In doing so, they will improve will several key competences, such as communication in their mother, native and foreign tongue, communication in foreign language, digital competence, intercultural awareness and expression. We will also focus on the numerous common and different cultural behaviour and our common roots.
Our non tangible results include the improvement of the communicative competences in the native, mother and foreign languages and ICTs skills of the target groups, the awareness about the special identity of bilingual children, the enrichment of our knowledge and of our intercultural competences and the identification of common European traditions and values. This is one of the horizontal priorities our project has: the social and educational value of the European cultural heritage.
Besides, our tangible results include videos, e-dictionaries, padlet entries and the design of greeting cards. Probably the most important material result is the Must and Never Code about appropriate cultural behaviour, whose compilation requires very subtle feel for various nuances of same cultural behaviours. In compiling the code, the students will tackle various aspects of the bilingual identity and will develop a better understanding of the other cultures involved in the project too. They will identify common European roots, traditions and values, which is the main priority of our project.
The project will help students and overall participants realise that there is this whole new hybrid identity European generation with multiple roots and that belonging to it is such an enrichment. Raising awareness about the enrichment of diversity through bilingualism will also lead to more respect and tolerance towards the different European cultural values. Finally, WEBS Common Roots is a follow-up of the original WEBS, whose aim was the connection between numerous bilingual schools, which is strengthened and expanded by this new project.
Raising up bilingually in nowadays European society has long stopped being an exception. Most
European capitals and big cities are cosmopolitan ones, where a walk on the streets automatically
relates to contact with diversity, either in the form of culinary experiences or the sounds of more or
less exotic languages. In such societies the emergence of bilingual schools is imminent. There are
indeed numerous bilingual schools in Europe and there is even an online exchange platform made by
and for parents of students attending those schools. Still there is no exchange platform for the
teachers and students of the European bilingual schools. Our aim is to set up a network of various
European bilingual schools, so that we can learn from and with one another.
We are aiming to achieve three main objectives. The first one is the understanding and improvement
of the European bilingual school systems with focus on strenghtening the European identity, best
practice in different types of bilingual schools, school life in different bilingual schools and the future
of he bilingual students in Europe. We also aim to improve our methodology, use of resources and
assessment criteria when teaching bilingually. Furthermore, there will be improvement of the
students`communicative skills in different languages as well as the improvement of the students`skills
in ICTs. The material result we aim to achieve is an online exchange platform for bilingual European
schools meant to connect participant schools, so that we can learn from and with one another.
Our main priority is the social and educational value of European cultural heritage, which will be
achieved by expanding the cultural knowledge we already have on one of the European country
whose language we teach bilingually to a broader knowledge on all other cultures involved in this
project. We are four European bilingual schools eager to expand the European dimension our
schools already have, we wish to extend our cultural knowledge and intercultural competences and
knowledge of other bilingual schools, to learn how schools and society work in our partner countries.
Our second priority, the developement of relevant and high-quality competences is linked to the
improvement of our students`communicative and ICTs skills. At the same time the setting up of the
exchange platform itself is an innovative practice in the communication between the European
bilingual schools, as our third priority refers to open education and innovative practices in a digital
The understanding of the European bilingual system will be achieved through the getting-to-knowone-
another presentations, the videos on our home towns, our schools and students themselves.
Through these videos and the visits during which we attend classes, extracurricular and after school
activities we will be able to compare the way other bilingual schools function, how they disseminate
the European dimension and which specific resources and methodology they use to teach a common
bilingual subject. We will understand, for example, how the Polish and Spanish schools see France in
Europe and they will understand in which way the German school transports the Spanish cultural
values. We will all learn in which way Germany, Spain, Poland, Holland and France contribute to
Europe and in which way their cultural values are transported in school.
All the activities planned require the use of the teachers`and students` (age 12-15) communicative
and ICT skills. Right in the beginning, by making the videos on the home town, own school, individual
presentations the students will have to operate with new media and use their foreign language skills.
The same applies to the video reports and writing the news reports every 4 months. Furthermore, the
students will compare a common favorite subject and visit a foreign school. They will attend classes,
extra-curricular activities and give presentations on their bilingual school and compare it to the one
visited. Another activity involves the teachers wiriting short articles on the the methodology and
resources used when teaching in bilingual schools and similar topics. These articles will be shared on
the internet site, together with the video reports and presentations the students do. Besides the
platform will include a chat forum for teachers, one for students and information on the project and
the links of the schools involved as well as useful links on bilingualism.
WEBS is the headstone of the innovative cooperation of a great many European bilingual schools.