“Communicating in the other person’s language”

Gruppenbild Fortbildung

Continuing education to improve Franco-German language skills aimed at staff members from member universities within the Eucor – The European Campus network is starting its second segment in February.

Anna Navickas, Consultant for International Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Michal Parusinski, research engineer at the University of Strasbourg and Marlene Kottmann, research assistant at the University of Freiburg, gave us their impressions of the first part of the training.

What is the main takeaway for you from this training?
Anna Navickas: “After the training I now understand much better what Eucor actually is and how important it is to strengthen the cooperation of the partner universities through training and other activities. I got to know very interesting, committed people and was able to apply and improve my knowledge of French.”

Michal Parusinski: “This particular training is not like other German continuing education courses in which I have already participated. The goal is clearly to form linguistic tandems (a Franco-German pair of tandems) and to use them to practice each other’s language throughout the year. During the training, the lecturers focused on the topic of communication through games on the subject of cooperation and communication. As a result, I now view learning German differently. In order to be able to communicate in the language of another, I can rely not only on my language competence in German (which still has potential for improvement), but also on communication techniques.”

Marlene Kottmann: “I am very pleased to have found a tandem partner through this training. It also helped a lot to define the framework and objectives of a tandem once again in order to be able to plan and implement it better. The language test and the language games in the language center were also very helpful.”

In your view, is this training important for Eucor – The European Campus?
Anna Navickas: “In my opinion, the exchange amongst the staff at the Eucor universities has been greatly strengthened through this training. I find it very positive that the training is aimed primarily at the administrative staff of the partner universities.”

Michal Parusinski: “I think two things are important for Eucor – The European Campus: The first is to break down the language barrier and the second is to enable collaboration between teams working on similar topics. This training addresses the language issue and I would say that it succeeds in a pragmatic way. I feel that training has accelerated learning by promoting language practice with others. This, based on good communication and learning methods, has made cultural exchange possible, even if the knowledge of the other’s language is not yet perfect.”

Marlene Kottmann: “Yes, I think such training is very important for Eucor. Eucor offers a great opportunity to get to know and exchange ideas with colleagues across borders, but without such training, you are often unaware of this opportunity in your day-to-day work.”

Did you have pleasant encounters?
Anna Navickas: “Absolutely! I got to know some of the main players in the Eucor projects (mainly from the UHA, but also from Freiburg and Basel), very committed lecturers from NovaTris and CLAM and nice colleagues from the partner universities.”

Michal Parusinski: “The group consisted of participants who came from different places and had very different specific characteristics. Despite my shyness, I was able to meet people I would not have met otherwise and have interesting conversations (despite the language barrier).”

Marlene Kottmann: “Yes, it was very nice to meet colleagues from other universities and countries. I liked the fact that there were also opportunities for casual exchange (dinner).”

The training is a collaboration between NovaTris, the Cross-Border Competence Centre, CLAM and the language center at the University of Haute-Alsace. The aim of the training is to stimulate and enrich one’s own learning experience through a variety of pedagogical approaches: intercultural awareness and support, self-directed accompanied language learning and tutored language learning tandem.

The training began on November 6-7, 2018 at the University of Haute-Alsace. The second and third parts of the training will take place on February 19-20, 2019 and on March 21, 2019 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and at the University of Basel in collaboration with the language centers of these two Eucor universities.

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