FIRST STEPS PROJECT

The Outputs

Our project has developed a Package of flexible and attractive tools for autonomous learning in order to motivate new adult immigrants (or those who plan to immigrate) from TR, RO, BG to acquire quickly basic language communication skills and elements of the history and culture of their host countries (DE, IT, GR respectively).
Our autonomous language learning method, which is specifically designed for the target groups of immigrants, contains the following tools:

1) Printing materials: a) three (3) bilingual, contemporary Phrasebooks including dictionaries (DE-TR, IT-RO, EL-BG and vice versa), b) three (3) modern Grammar books including Pronunciation guidance for the relevant languages (one for each second language taught: DE, IT, EL), c) three (3) books including cultural and historical information for each host country.

2) ICT materials: three (3) Audio CDs (one for each second language to be taught), using native speaker’s pronunciation, including all dialogues found in the Phrasebooks plus oral pronunciation guidance.

3) Web support & feedback: Also, our project is supported by this Web Site translated into seven languages (DE, IT, EL, TR, RO, BG, EN) and by a Forum for online communication of immigrants and immigrant organizations.
The goal of our modules for autonomous learning is to develop easy to use, flexible and attractive materials in order to motivate adult immigrants from the target countries acquire quickly basic language communication skills and make their “first steps” to their new countries easier and more self-confident, and in the short-term integrate better to their host countries. Our didactic materials are based on the theory that languages are learned, whether by adults or by children by listening and interacting with real people in real-life situations. Based on this concept we will develop the printing and audio materials described below.
As far as our PRINTING MATERIALS are concerned, more analytically, we have developed:
a) Modern bilingual Phrasebooks each one including more than 500 useful basic expressions for helping immigrants handle all the daily situations they could expect to encounter in their new countries. The Phrasebooks are broken down into sections, each one including all basic phrases and idioms important for getting around and communicating with people in various real life situations such as: arrival, searching for a job, going to a hotel, restaurant, bank, post office, doctor etc., expressions for handling emergency situations and every day problems. Since immigrants have an urgent need to integrate fast to their new countries’ societies, the Phrasebooks focus on the words and phrases they must use in order to deal with everyday situations and not on useless vocabulary and expressions.
Each section of the Phrasebooks is designed to work as the foundation of the next. In other words, the learners will keep building on what they have previously learned. The Phrasebooks’ format is practical, easy to use, containing a table of contents and index and having an attractive lay out. All three Phrasebooks include contemporary bilingual dictionaries of more than 4000 words.
b) The Grammar books, one for each target language, are divided into short easy to read chapters, including all basic grammatical points explained by various examples. The Grammar books are elaborated on a user-friendly format in order to motivate the learners read and understand the structure and use of the target languages in an interesting way. For the Grammar books, guidance is provided using the immigrants’ mother tongue languages. They also include a Pronunciation guide.
c) The History and Culture books, one for each target country, contain important elements on the history and culture of the host countries. The historical events and cultural aspects are presented briefly but in an attractive and easy to understand way in order to motivate immigrants get familiarized with the history, culture and heritage of their host countries. The History and Culture books include short translations in the mother tongue languages of the immigrants.
2) The AUDIO CDs, one for each target language, are an important component of our method for assisting immigrants work on their accent and help them understand the language when they hear it in real life. It is important for the immigrants to learn the sound system of the target languages, which may be different from their own. Also, it is important to listen to how the words are put together to a sentence correctly by a native speaker. That’s why the Audio CDs include all dialogues and phrases included in the Phrasebooks using native speakers’ pronunciation.
3) The WEB SITE (in seven (7) language versions) is divided into three sections. The first section includes material for the promotion and dissemination of our project, the second section includes feedback and updates and the third section includes a Forum for online communication of immigrants and immigrant associations.