Title Virtex adaptation for Hungary
Project Number 2010-1-HU1-LEO05-00052
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text VIRTEX is a an interactive English language teaching curriculum invented specially to catering vocational school students. The students can learn English with the help of interactive video situations, which can meet most of the work in the hospitality industry: for example hotel Check-In/Check-Out, handling complaints, providing information, taking orders restaurant etc. In addition, the curriculum contains the presentation of the most popular Hungarian dishes and drinks. The videos and interactive elements include tasks that will help improve the skills and the self-test exercises.
The results of the Hungarian language education are among the worst in the European Union. The main problem is that the communication skills are very poor. The requirements at exams focus on theories and linguistics but not on communication. There are numerous surveys on measuring the communication skills. An Eurobarometer survey shows that Hungary is the worst in this field. The coordinator school has made similar surveys among the schools and among the hotels that are the most significant employers of the school leavers. These surveys show an even worse situation.
For this reason we decided to find a good practice that could help improve the students’ skills. We have looked for good practices among the countries where the results are good. We found the VIRTEX project that perfectly fits our practice. The aims and objectives of the project are the following:
- To improve the level of the students’ communicational and verbal skills using the VIRTEX methodology
- To localize the material to better suit the Hungarian cultural environment and the law of education
- To translate the main parts of the material for the adaptation
- To promote the results and start market-based language courses for the workers in the Hungarian hospitality sector improving their verbal and communicational skills and at the same time generating definite revenue
The representatives of the hotels we are in contact with suggested finding a way to improve the skills regarding foreign languages. Through this channel we have met the VIRTEX project and the participants of its initial development. We decided to transfer VIRTEX to our school in Hungary. We contacted the original developers and finally we organized a team that is capable to execute the transfer successfully. All participants have their definite roles as follows:
P2 (Dutch partner): The leader and owner of this company was the project manager of VIRTEX project. Colorez participated in a project where the consortium transferred VIRTEX to other countries. They will assure the quality and represent the principles of the methodology.
P1 (Estonian partner): They participated in the VIRTEX project and they already transferred it to Estonia. They will assure that all necessary aspects will be considered during the transfer.
P3 (Portuguese partner): Very experienced organization in intercultural projects, the representative is a native English linguist who is in very good working relation with all participants.
P4 (Corinthia Hotel): The original initiators of the project and they will express the needs of the market. They are non-eligible partners so they will fund all of their costs.
We are going to produce the following outcomes:
- Fully useable e-learning material
- Fully detailed course with all the necessary course materials
- An online community around the project to aid the further transfers
The impact envisaged is to increase our students’ verbal and communicational skills at least by 40%
Description Results of several surveys, articles and interviews show that the foreign language and communication knowledge and skills are generally not sufficient for efficient communication among people within Europe. In the attachment we included the results of a Eurobarometer survey that supports this statement. Moreover, it is obvious from the data that Hungarian’s achievements are especially low in this respect among the EU member countries. On the initiative of our partner hotels, and with the participation of our partner institutions, we carried out a survey in summer 2009 to find out the level of the communicative skills of our school leavers in the field of the knowledge and use of foreign languages. The results of our research showed an even more sinister picture than the Eurobarometer data. This, unfortunately was underpinned by our own experiences with the school population, proved by the staggeringly low figures of achievement at the theoretical vocational exam (see attachments) . Our figures point at a deep divide between the students’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills, where the extremely low ‘theoretical’ results originate mostly from the lack of foreign language knowledge and skills. Our Hotel partners have urged us, to raise the level of English instruction and communicative skills training. The experts also recommended that we should follow the best practices in the ‘Old Europe’. Through them, and our own research, we learned that the Hungarian situation is by far not unique, and that Estonians, Bulgarians, Slovaks and many othe nationalities struggle with the same problems. This is why we consider it very promising to adapt the original Dutch-based, and transnational project with the help of our Estonian partners, and under the scrutiny of the Dutch partner, coordinator of the VIRTEX project, as well as the adaptation of the project for European teacher education.
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
material for open learning
program or curricula
Product information The material to be transferred has been developed for specific linguistic and cultural situations and is based on e-learning elements. The main parts are videos, focused and effective interactive elements, well designed didactic texts and situational games. All of these are designed for individual learning but led by tutor both professional and lingual teachers. The didactical way was designed directly on the experiment that people can learn on the easiest way if they are doing what they like most. Recently the community based online activities are the most preferred platforms people like spend their spare time. The didactic way utilizes the most important elements of the behavior of an “interneting” person.