East Dunbartonshire's Europe buffs spread the word

Elizabeth Buie

Citoyens du monde - or those living in East Dunbartonshire at least - unite today to celebrate the culmination of an imaginative programme designed to extend senior pupils' language fluency and awareness of European institutions.

Projet citoyen involved 27 sixth-year pupils from seven East Dunbartonshire schools, all studying Advanced Higher French, combined language skills, citizenship and ICT.

Today, the project culminates at the council chambers, where pupils, teachers, parents, MEPs and education leaders from Learning and Teaching Scotland and HMIE will witness a demonstration from the 27 citoyens that not only do they know more about workings of the European Union than the average person, but also that they can discuss it in French.

Projet citoyen required students to research the European institutions before spending two days in Strasbourg, thanks to a successful application to the schools category of the European Parliament's "Summer 2008 Call for Proposals" fund. They beat off competition from across the EU. While there, they visited the main institutions, met MEPs, followed debates at the Parliament in French, and carried out a survey of people on the streets of Strasbourg.

They also developed an online interactive Euroquiz, designed to pique the interest of any S1-2 pupils of French or European affairs. It comprises 10 questions conceived by students. Each question has three possible answers and each answer features an explanation as to why it's right or wrong.

The European Commission's office in Edinburgh is so impressed by the resource that it hopes to disseminate it across Europe to support European awareness through the English language.

Mary Larkin, a quality improvement officer at East Dunbartonshire, believes the project has not only helped senior pupils to improve their general literacy through a foreign language, but also produced a teaching resource that is more motivational than the usual "stuffy stuff" about Europe.

- www.projetcitoyen.com?p=250


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Elizabeth Buie

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