DiM Project Short Term Staff Training 5 – 7 November Malta

A short term joint staff training event was held in Malta at “Future Focus Ltd” from 5th to 7th of November 2019. All the partners were present at the meeting. The total number of participants was 19.

The main purposes of the meeting were:

1.to show the results in processing the linguistic data by Cpia Avellino;

2. to train participants to use the online dictionary;

3. to discuss the implementation of DiM platform. On the first day (5th November) an online  platform containing a demo of the DiM dictionary was presented to the partners. The dictionary with the words translated into 11 languages was realized  through a program  processing the excel sheets used to populate the databases.

The on-line dictionary is able to translate from one language (source language) to one target language (chosen from the other 10 collected) or from one language to all the others. In the first case the platform shows us the translation into the target language, an audio-file with the word recorded, the semantic field to which the word belongs, its grammar reference and a drawing for those words and languages where drawing workshops were realized. In the second case the platform shows the written translation of the word in all the languages, the audio-file, the semantic field and a drawing, if made, of the translated word for each language.

The project coordinator points out that the platform so far only shows a demo of the dictionary. There is a need for a review of the language data by experienced people to check its veracity as the data has been provided by our students who may have made mistakes

On the same day, Cpia Avellino conducted a workshop on “The use of DiM Platform and its implementation as teaching aid” The workshop consisted in  different  activities performed by all participants to learn how to use all the functions of the platform . At the end the partners have made useful observations to improve the platform for educational purposes.

On the second day (6th November) the project coordinator Ms. Pensabene gave a lecture on “The language heritage: Diversity of the languages and cultures in an intercultural context”. The aim of the training was to awaken in each participant the awareness of languages, in order to provide a better access to language learning and contribute significantly to education in all its dimensions; to open up to cultures, languages and literatures contributed by immigrants and to other modes of reception and learning of traditional teaching contents. Learning together and from one another represents the educational answer that should be given to the existence of multicultural societies.

On the same day, in the afternoon Cpia Avellino conducted a workshop on “Sociolinguistics Profiles: Language profile and student Profile” Cpia Avellino showed a proposal of a socio-linguistic interview that every partner should use to identify the socio-linguistic background of students as well as  examples of  language and country Profiles that will implement the DiM platform. The aim of the project is not only to make a good instrument that could be used for didactical purposes but also to spread a good knowledge of the many languages inside the platform to increase the awareness of the beauty of every language.

The main topic of the third training day (7th November) was: “The awareness of languages in DiM project: the experiences of each partner, the relationship with the students, the change in the perception of the languages and cultures of the students”. Each partner has witnessed with videos, photos etc the work done with the students reporting their personal experiences and those of their students. Later, there was a talk of how the experience of the DiM Project influenced all participants in the perception of the different linguistic and cultural realities with which all came into contact.

On the same day a workshop was held on “Tools and methodologies in Sociolinguistic Data collection” by Cpia Avellino. After explaining the methodology for the sociolinguistic surveys (Profiles) was asked participants to fill in their own language biography, a very useful tool to understand the cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

In conclusion we can say that the training event contributed to the achievement of the project objectives. All partners were satisfied with the realization of the DiM platform created by Cpia of Avellino which was also generated as a result of everyone efforts in collecting data. The meeting was very important to keep suggestions from all the partners for improving the usability of the dictionary; to achieve greater awareness of the objectives of the project, to confront experiences, discuss how to deal with difficulties, decide how to go forward and what to do to implement the platform; how to make a good communication of the project and disseminate the results.