Turning the FOCUS to inclusion

In December 2017, the EU adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights, a document highlighting the importance of social, educational and cultural dimensions of EU policies for building a common European future for a fair, inclusive and full of opportunities Europe. One of the central themes was the right to quality, inclusive education where everyone has the same fair chance to take part in the world around them. With this in mind, along with the ever-increasing importance of foreign language learning, it became obvious that more needed to be done as regards the inclusion and aid of children with learning difficulties in a foreign language learning context.

Pupils facing learning difficulties, especially in younger ages, find foreign language learning challenging, and teachers are not always appropriately equipped to teach said children in effective and efficient ways. To that effect, FOCUS was created.
FOCUS is an initiative funded by Erasmus+ including ten partners from six European countries (Slovenia, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Greece), aiming to improve the knowledge, skills and competences of foreign language teachers, in teaching children (6-12
years old) with learning difficulties, by using Digital Game-Based Learning methods and to strengthen their soft and transversal skills regarding the inclusion of learners with learning difficulties.

FOCUS will result in three deliverables within the span of three years.
1. “FOCUS in practice”: an online database for teachers consisting of best practices and real case studies including innovative tools and methods
2. “FOCUS 4 Playing”: a series of digital games to be used inside the foreign language classroom in favor of pupils with learning difficulties
3. “FOCUS in Foreign Languages”: an online training program aimed at teachers on how to teach foreign languages to children with learning difficulties.

As a result, awareness on the issue of inclusive education will be brought to foreign language teachers’ attention along with their upskilling and reskilling. Lest we forget the importance of the effect of the project on the targeted children which is twofold.

• The opportunity to learn in equal terms with their classmates
• The contribution to the foundation of their life-long learning journey

The primary beneficiaries are foreign language teachers in Primary Education and in consequence, foreign language learners aged between 6-12. Additionally, School Administrators, groups associated with learning difficulties as well as foreign languages and parents of children with learning difficulties can benefit greatly from the project.

FOCUS is, undoubtedly, an initiative with a profound objective; to create inclusive educational grounds for students with learning difficulties which will ultimately help their life-long learning.

More news