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Bilingualism and MBE
Origins and aims of the project
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    MBE has clearly been identified in The White Paper on Education as a means of raising the standard of foreign language competence in the EU to a point at which citizens can communicate in at least three community languages: "It could even be argued that secondary school pupils should study certain subjects in the first foreign language learned" (European Commission 1996, p.67). Some European countries are well on their way as far as MBE is concerned, others are still toying with the idea. In order to promote a greater coherence between individual initiatives and a greater partnership between EU countries, the Tel2l Project was designed. By bringing together practising MBE teachers on the one hand and teacher training institutions on the other, it aims to train student teachers to operate in an MBE setting whilst responding to the increasing demand of MBE-specific classroom material. With a fully trained and practised cohort of teachers, MBE is finally coming to a stage when it is accepted, highly valued and, it is hoped, proves to be a useful tool for integration and better understanding of European languages and cultures whilst preserving national and regional identities.

    A crucial assumption in this statement is that there exist teachers able to provide this type of education. The Tel2l project seeks to create ITE programmes in four EU states, which will educate teachers specifically to be both subject experts and modern languages experts and will receive MBE-specific training.

    The programme covers both upper primary and lower secondary school levels, thereby responding to an increasing demand for trained teachers in both sectors.

    Another crucial issue is that of resources. A common complaint from practising MBE teachers is the lack of specifically created teaching material.

    It is envisaged that the student teachers involved in the MBE programmes to be taught in the four partner institutions will develop material as part of their training. This in turn will lead to greater co-operation between subject and language experts, which will form transnational teams with the aim of creating dedicated school material for specific MBE needs.

    Thus, the project aims to achieve a two-fold objective: the training of a cohort of newly qualified teachers who have a dual subject + language competence and are trained to teach in a MBE setting, and the creation of resources and material for the MBE classroom

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