European project VIA LIGHT
for the support of the early bilingual education
Language for Intergration and Global Human Tolerance
"Staff education and training are crucial for achieving language-learning objectives within the general aims of early childhood education and care. ... This presents a particular challenge as the pool of available staff with sufficient language skills is often limited. ... There is therefore a need to develop and deliver coherent staff education programmes to support the delivery of ELL that take account of the complex reality in each country."
Omission Staff Working Paper, European Strategic Framework for Education and Training (ET 2020), Language Learning at Pre-primary School level: Making it efficient and sustainable a Policy Handbook, Brussels, 7th July 2011, page 17.
The VIA LIGHT project's objective
Around 500 million people of various ethnicities and languages live in the European Union, including some 25 million people of non-EU origin. 28% of Europeans speak two and 56% speak one foreign language (February 2006 Eurobarometer survey).
Language competence is thus an important aspect of Europe's successful social, educational and economic development. The EU encourages multilingual education [KOM (2005) 356] as a prerequisite for peaceful unity and diversity.
Bilingual education model (www.mitra-ev.de) is an example of successful integration of Russian immigrants in Europe. The model can only be implemented through the training of qualified teachers with an expertise in children's bilingualism.
The VIA LIGHT project's objective is to develop a training program for teachers working with bilingual children and specific training modules for advanced training of children's bilingualism experts.The courses are based on the widely implemented European approach, which is adjusted to specific regional needs. The project implies a combination of traditional full-time education and online courses for the training of knowledge multipliers in the regions by experienced specialists from the partnering countries.
The innovative modules will be tested and licensed in eight member countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Moldova, Russia) by at least three universities, six bilingual schools and 15 kindergartens – around 120 participants in all.