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4 - 6 April 2014, St. Gallen (Switzerland)

The 7th Bilium Partners Meeting took place in St. Gallen on the 4-6 April 2014.

In attendance at the meeting were: 
Viktor Anders (AT), Tatjana Mahler (AT), Olga Bramley (UK), Inna Khromova-Plehanova (SE), Anna Kasenova (SE), Olga Malyshvea (DE), Hannah Gramlich (DE), Sergej Prokopkin (DE), Thomas Hentschel (DE), Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt (CH)

Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt, the host, gave a short overview of the current situation with heritage languages in Switzerland as well as the consequences raised by the referendum of 9 February 2014 and the temporary exclusion of Switzerland from Erasmus+ and some other programs. After this, the floor was given to Thomas Hentschel, who moderated a discussion on the following topics:

  1. Didactical recommendations for working with bilinguals
  2. Preparing the planned outcome (Module 2)
  3. Using the results in professional education and curriculum development

The list of institutions providing training for pre-school teachers prepared by the Austrian partners was taken as an example and debated. There are some differences in the educational systems between European countries: In some countries, teachers are trained at universities (for example, in Finland and partly in the UK), while in other countries, university study is not required (for example, in Germany and Switzerland – just Berufsausbildung). Some partners still need to submit their lists ASAP.

Cooperation between state schools and schools offering supplemental education (for example, in heritage languages) should be developed. Some public schools in the UK have many migrant students with a low level of English. Language assistants (professionals, native speakers) accompany those students in classes and support them in the learning process. There is also some cooperation between state schools and schools offering HSK lessons in some Swiss cantons.

Extracurricular activities might be a sufficient tool for maintaining and developing heritage languages. Those activities might include work with families and various cultural and sporting events (summer camps, sport competitions, music festivals). The example of the London School of Russian Language and Literature was raised.

The brochure for Module 2 is being edited by George Bramley (UK). Olga Bramley (UK) will take a look at the final version in the first third of May. Question to the Publisher: May we submit the manuscript on 15 May?

Project partners discussed possible tools for dissemination and ways the project could be developed, including the possibility of additional funding on a regional basis. NB: Project partners are now actively looking for ways to contact potential stakeholders, especially colleges of professional education.

The project will have the following outcomes:
2 Brochures:
   Bilium, Part I, Retorika A 2014 (published)
   Bilium, Part II, Retorika A 2014 (in the editing process)
1 Facebook page:
1 website: www.phil.uni-greifswald.de/fmz/projekte/bilium.html
1 movie: www.youtube.com/watch?v=udeY1tqN0tM

The final meeting will take place in Greifswald, Germany (4 June 2014).