Language Learning through Culture & Cooking

The project

Language Learning through Culture & Cooking was a 2-year project funded through the Erasmus+ KA2 Adult Strategic Partnership Programme.

Led by Dacorum CVS (UK) the project also put together partners from Austria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and Spain to share their knowledge and expertise to create innovative training products which combine together the topics of language learning, cookery and inter-cultural dialogue. The project was aimed at adult learning providers and community development agencies and provided new tools they can use to enable learners to enhance their learning outcome and through this role in the workplace and local society.

There is recognition that when you engage and motivate adult learners the individual results they achieve are at a higher level than would have otherwise been possible. Motivation leads to increased knowledge, increased levels of confidence, increased skill sets, increased social contacts and in addition for migrants an increased sense of being part of the community in which they are now living. Each partner to this proposal has seen in their own delivery the positive results that come from engaged motivated learners.

In all subjects taught to adult learners, there is the potential to motivate learners. The quality of teaching is one aspect, as is the ambience of the training room and how the lesson plan is created/delivered. Some subjects lend themselves more to engaging learners and partners have seen cookery and inter-cultural exchange as ones with positive potential. The level of results achieved has a relationship with how the lesson is delivered. What works well could work even better and we always strive for improvement.

Partners have come together in this proposal to strive for that improvement through the creation of innovative ways in combining the delivery of language learning and embedding basic skills through the medium of cookery and intercultural dialogue. The latter achieves best results when exchanging all the cultures represented in the classroom setting, whilst cookery can broaden horizons through sharing traditional recipes whilst underpinning key messages around local sourced food and healthy eating. This provides an environmental and health & wellbeing dimension, as well as providing a way into active citizenship.

The project created a portfolio of training materials, guidelines, handbooks and online resources for organisations and adult trainers to draw upon to enhance the delivery of their lessons. They were written from the perspective of delivery within the setting of language learning for speakers of other languages, whilst at the same time recognising the potential for transferability to other course topics. The adult trainers were the prime project beneficiaries, with through course material delivery migrant communities being the ultimate beneficiaries, though the wider population also benefits through participation in cookery and cultural exchange.

The project started on 01-11-2019, for a duration of two years. It is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

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