Project Number 503150-LLP-1-2009-AT-LEONARDO-LMP
Product DIDACTIC PROGRAMME
Title DIDACTIC PROGRAMME
Product Type modules
Marketing Text The VinoLingua project fills a gap in the market by providing a study programme for foreign language learning tailored to the needs of winegrowers in European wine regions.
Language learning with VinoLingua
In a first step, the VinoLingua partners analysed the language needs of the target group, finding out in which situations winegrowers need foreign languages and what skills are required. They also asked for the preferences and possibilities of winegrowers in terms of course organization, time, media preferences, etc.
The needs analysis questioned 350 winegrowers in the wine regions of the project (Lower Austria, South Tyrol, Tuscany, Burgundy and Toro) about their media and pedagogical preferences, their time resources and the situations for which they need a foreign language. It showed first and foremost the necessity of knowing more foreign languages beside English. As for motivation, media preferences and time capacities of the target group, the needs analysis showed the following: the motivation to learn a language is strongly linked with the professional background. As for the media, the majority of the target group were in favour of a course book, while the younger winegrowers preferred a study programme on an Internet platform. A significant aspect for the project is that winegrowers have an average of half an hour to an hour a week to spare for language learning. The most important situations to be covered by the language skills are: wine tastings, sales talks, wine presen¬tations, trade fairs and company visits. To sum up, this means the project should develop self-study materials, including both a traditional coursebook and a large number of internet resources, such as podcasts, texts and other individual media. The course should also be divided into small learning units.
Cultural aspects will be included through a multilingual wine brochure presenting the project members' wine regions, as well as through a film showing winegrowers from different regions each in their specific environment, but also while meeting each other and communicating in many languages. This film has a double function: it is meant to motivate winegrowers for foreign language learning, but it will also serve as a didactic tool.
The crucial Milestone Paper is the VinoLingua curriculum, based on the needs analysis and on internal discussions during the first project meetings. This curriculum and didactic outline of the project was designed step by step during the project meetings, especially the first meeting in Krems and the main didactics meeting in Toro (October 2010).
The focus of the teaching materials will be on oral communication, and the core situation to be covered is wine tasting, in different contexts: a visit to the vineyard and a wine fair. The respective speech acts have been classified and assigned to "building blocks" (= sub-points). The situations to be covered include:
1. Welcome (what every language learner needs)
2. Description of the vineyard and the wine region
3. Vineyard work
4. Cellar work
5. Presentation of one or more wines
6. Wine tasting
7. Selling of wine, and
7. Establishing contact at a wine fair.
The manual will start with a "zero-lesson" as an appetizer for multilingualism; there will also be optional study units only for those who need them (e.g. agritourism and sparkling wine), and without grammatical progression. Extensive supplementary exercise material and special practice worksheets will be made available on the project website.
The concept is based on cyclic progression, which means that the same situation is repeated several times on different levels of competence. For instance, the wine tasting situation is presented three times with a more complex linguistic content each time. The programme will cover the CEFR levels A1 and A2, as well as receptive knowledge on B1 level, but thematically adapted to wine and wine growing.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages was adapted for the LSP of wine, wine tasting and winegrowing in accordance with the practical needs in foreign language learning of the winegrowers. In a meeting in Paris, the partners elaborated a CEFR version which is another VinoLingua Milestone Paper, and has been translated into all project languages and English.
In order to fill the situational curriculum with linguistic content for each of the four target languages, a wine discourse corpus was compiled and analyzed. The corpus consists of two sub-corpora, a written corpus including wine cards, brochures, advertisings, wine magazines etc., and an oral corpus of video recordings in all project languages, which document mainly wine tasting situations, providing several samples of them for each language. The latter sub-corpus of authentic spoken interactions was recorded by the partners in the project countries, transcribed and analysed linguistically (what are the relevant linguistic means to cover the different speech acts to be taught?). The detailed results will be presented in an on-line publication of the University of Burgundy, Dijon, and in a series of conference presentations, e.g. at the Deutscher Romanistentag in Berlin in September 2011. The analysis describes typical features of the interactions at the pragmatic, lexical and syntactic levels. The description of the grammatical structure was made with reference to typical situations of the target group. The grammar is a corpus grammar following indicators such as frequency, simplicity and relevance, which will form the basis for choosing the linguistic elements for the different lessons. Priority will be given to the use of chunks and standardized expressions, especially at A1 level.
Furthermore, and as a side project that feeds into the main project, the University of Innsbruck has developed a complete quadrilingual wine terminology data base, with reference to the specific and authentic context of the users and designed to fit the needs of language learning beginners (simple language in examples and definitions).
As for the language teaching and language learning methodology to be applied, the tendency today is to apply methodological pluralism, which is best adapted to the varying needs of different learner types. The main feature of the VinoLingua programme is that it is a self-study programme, guiding winegrowers through autonomous learning. Therefore, self-study strategies and tips about language learning will be provided, and the learners will be guided from the manual to the project website. All explanations and translations will be available for the learners in their respective mother tongues, in order to promote self-studying.
The pedagogical framework is based on complete learner autonomy if desired, but it will also include a possibility for bi-directional feedback and interaction. There are plans to implement small study groups that could meet e.g. once a month (which would be important for motivation), and an internet forum for VinoLingua learners from different countries to meet virtually. Teachers and trainers should be available on demand, to supervise the learning process and give support to the learners in guidance and tutoring; the network could be organized through the European association of oenology colleges.
As for sustainability, the project picks up the existing concept of European validation of non-formal and informal learning processes with transparency and mutual recognition. The study programme will offer modular learning units and aims to realize a portfolio system with reference to Europass and ECVET.
Starting from autumn 2011 a VinoLingua newsletter will inform the target group and individuals interested in the project environment about the ongoing developments of the project. The VinoLingua material and study programme will be of long-term availability and foster vocational training and the integration of language learning in the working life.
Target group Winemakers
The project Vinolingua will provide winegrowers with a series of language manuals, focused on their professional needs, which will prepare them to carry out wine tastings, take visitors on a guided tour of their vineyard, present their wine cellar at a wine fair, or just sell their own wine; and, all this, in a different language.
Languages offered are German, French, Italian, and Spanish, and, at the same time, each one of these languages will be represented by a wine-growing region through which students will manage to discover the culture associated to the wine and its region: Lower Austria and South Tyrol, for German; Burgundy, for French; Tuscany, for Italian; and, for Spanish, the Toro region.
Each of these four languages is, at the same time, the language meta—that is, the language our students wish to learn—and/or the winegrowers’ mother tongue, which potentially accounts for twelve different language combinations.
From the beginners’ level, this method teaches the language of wine, rather than language in general. Moreover, materials for study are organized following a “spiral” shape, that is, presenting the same communicative situations on several occasions all along the course; firstly, using simpler linguistic structures, and then, progressively, introducing more complex structures as the programme unfolds. Thus, for instance, wine tasting features six times, and work in the vineyard, as well as the description of work in the cellar and wine trading, appear on three occasions.
At the A1 level, students learn how to manage themselves in these situations using “chunks”, that is, fixed expressions they can easily memorize (in the mouth, there is …). Later on, a series of customized flashcards are introduced to teach winegrowers how to describe their own wine. Finally, at the B1 level, learning is based on authentic audio materials related to wine.
The Vinolingua method, financed by the European Union through its Leonardo da Vinci Program, has been conceived as a set of self-study materials. Nevertheless, we are certain these materials can also be used at professional winemaking schools. In fact, the latter are an integral part of the partnership, composed of winegrowers, linguists, winemaking instructors, and language teachers.
All things considered, we can only foresee that, thanks to this project, Europe will turn into a crowd of “vinolinguist winegrowers” who will manage to communicate either amongst themselves or with any other wine lover in any language.
Area of application Language for Specific Purpose - Wine, Winemarketing, Wine industry, Wine culture
Product Languages English