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E-LOCAL - for all - Electronically Learning Other Cultures And Languages

E-LOCAL - for all
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The E-LOCAL courses are hosted in a customised Moodle platform. The home page gives an overview of the project and briefly summarises the adventures that will be developed in the learning units. An interactive map of Europe allows the students to click on the country (i.e. the course) that they want to explore and to begin their virtual travel. After entering their credentials, the students can see the topic outline, that is to say the list of all the units of the course along with a short description of their content. The units can also be accessed through an interactive map that shows the virtual path from unit 1 to unit 8, thus reinforcing the idea of a route to be followed to wander through the local environment.

All the E-LOCAL courses have the same structure. They consist of an introductory unit, eight main units and a final unit of assessment. Also all the main units have the same structure and each of them is built around a main theme that is linked to a possible real-life situation. The introductory unit is conceived as a presentation of the course and in particular as a presentation of the language. It is meant to stimulate the students’ curiosity by testing their preliminary knowledge, in many cases through a quiz followed by a short and clear explanation in a pop-up window. The users are then invited to go further and enter the core units.

Each of the eight central units is built following the same pattern. The units always begin with a story, that is to say a dialogue in which the characters live a situation that is likely to be experienced also by the students. The story-section is divided in seven short sub-sections (or situations) and it ends with a multiple-choice comprehension test. The units then present the grammar topics with a gradual set of grammar notes, each followed by an exercise to test what has just been explained. After that, the culture sections are introduced through multiple-choice questions that open up for short texts depicting the cultural aspects of the given country. The cultural part is followed by an everyday-life section showing curiosities and practicalities concerning daily situations. The units then end with a section of exercises that test the grammatical, lexical and communicative functions previously presented.

The grammatical topics faced are specific for each language of the six E-LOCAL courses and they have been decided after a close analysis of the handbooks and grammars available for A1 level. The communicative functions and the lexicon to be developed, however, have been established in the Common Framework. Also the culture and the everyday-life sections of each course deepen the same basic themes, which exploit hints and suggestion emerged in the story-section.