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Exploring cutting edge applications of networked technologies in Vocationally Oriented Language Learning.

E-VOLLution - Exploring cutting edge applications of networked technologies in Vocationally Oriented Language Learning

Project working languages: English, German
Thematic strand: Continuity in language learning
Expected results and output: Interactive website with training kit

Target audience for the activities planned within the project:

  • teachers working as multipliers in networks;
  • teacher educators;
  • decision-makers: heads of language departments responsible for VOLL in post-secondary, adult and tertiary education.

Target audience for the project results:

  • VOLL trainers in vocational schools, adult and continuing education, universities of applied sciences and in-company training;
  • multipliers as trainers of the above-mentioned groups;
  • teacher trainers in educational training establishments;
  • HR staff in charge of in-company (language) training.

Sector of education focussed on:

  • those responsible for work placements abroad (e.g. within the context of the LEONARDO programme for young people in training);
  • vocationally oriented schools;
  • colleges, universities with language centres for VOLL;
  • teacher education;
  • adult education, workplace;
  • continuing education;
  • educational media;
  • adult VOLL learners.

Project abstract

ECML workshop series “ICT VOLL IMPACT” (ECML programme 2000 - 2003) proved highly successful, and the GRAZVOLL website created in the project was widely acclaimed as innovative, informative and useful. This present project is concerned with updating content and developing strategies for the practical implementation of the products and findings not only of the ICT VOLL IMPACT group, but also of the results obtained in parallel ECML workshops conducted at the ECML as well as successful EU LEONARDO projects (e.g. EUROVOLT in VLE, www.dilaport.utu.fi/, POOLs www.languages.dk/, ProblemSolve www.problemsolve.org/TCVOLL, ACCUEIL, CompCertVoll, PRACTICERT, EVOQs), providing links to teacher training for VOLL, exemplar language learning modules in VOLL (ICT) and to resources / models of good practice.

The team will overhaul the GRAZVOLL website on the ECML server to incorporate recent findings and developments in ICT in FLT/FLL (e.g. e-Portfolio, intercultural issues in FLT/FLL), and conduct a survey of the specific needs in the field of ICT in FLT in vocational/professional contexts. A system will be put in place for introducing the use of ICT in VOLL throughout Europe by creating and piloting a user manual for multipliers, who will address clearly defined problems identified by national authorities, providing specific workshops for a particular country or region to tackle perceived deficits.


This project continues and enriches the results of the series of successful international VOLL workshops run by the Council of Europe in collaboration with different Ministries of Education and which started in the early nineties. The target groups of the website are the same and are clearly defined in the corresponding publications and workshop reports.

Since the early VOLL workshops, working life has changed dramatically: flat structures, small and self-governed groups of people, knowledge advancement and innovation are crucial factors for sustainable businesses and services across geographical, cultural and linguistic boundaries. Changing practices in work require new practices in communication. And foreign language competence has become vital in online environments, where the new literacies are seen as the key to successful participation in social as well as working life.

The technological response at present can be seen in a series of web 2.0 applications (not available during the creation of the GRAZVOLL website), e.g. blogs, wikis and various types of file sharing applications and social software. However, the cultural-historical and institutional aspects of schooling and teaching make it difficult to unite tradition and innovation overnight. Systematic cultivation of teacher communities and the development of learning scenarios where teachers, as well as learners, participate in real life, distributed assignments can be seen as a principled effort to address this situation.

Unfortunately, we are still a long way from practical implementation of ICT in FLL/FLT on a wide scale, and the main challenge lies in the pedagogical use of ICT inside and outside the classroom linked to a positive development of eLearning.

Through their various activities in online communities, the project team will use their networks to research and disseminate other relevant sources (e.g. Eurocall (European Association of Computer Assisted Language Learning) and IALIC (International Association for Language and Intercultural Communication).


Folkuniversitetet, Sweden:
Within the context of the participation of Kerstin Namuth as team member, Folkuniversitetet will seek financing from the Swedish national authorities for a regional workshop to include all the Scandinavian countries.

Moscow State Linguistic University, 38 Ostozhenka Str, 119837 Moscow, Russia:
The university will finance a fourth team member, Irina Smoliannikova, who participated in the ICT in VOLL workshops referred to above, and who organised and ran the related workshop in Moscow which is documented on the GRAZVOLL website. As in the case of the ICT in VOLL project, financing will also be sought from the Russian authorities for a related national workshop.

Universitäts-Gesamthochschule Essen-Duisburg, Funktionsbereich III -Didaktik/Technologiegestütztes Fremdsprachenlernen, Universitätsstr. 12, D-45117 Essen:
Professor Dr. Bernd Rüschoff will act as as advisor and evaluator of the E-VOLLution project products and outcomes.

InterMedia, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1161 Blindern, N-0318OSLO:
Dr. Andreas Lund will act as advisor and evaluator of the E-VOLLution project products and outcomes. 

Professor Martina Möllering, Head, Department of European Languages, Co-ordinator of German Studies at Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia, will delegate a member of staff to accompany the project and provide input from an Australian perspective. The participation of the Australian partner will be at the expense of that partner. 

Aims and specific objectives

To update and then ensure wide scale implementation of the products and findings of the series of workshops offered by the ECML in the field of information and communications technology and Vocationally Oriented Language Learning as well as providing interfaces with similar EU projects in the field of VOLL.

Specific objectives
1. To update the GRAZVOLL website, incorporating web 2.0 type applications

2. To produce and pilot a practical manual for multipliers, outlining strategies and methods for the introduction of ICT in VOLL, based upon the GRAZVOLL website (learning by doing, reflecting and integrating into own practice).

3. To encourage the establishment of a network of multipliers able to address identified needs related to the introduction/use of ICT in VOLL.

4. To widely publicise the content and approach of the GRAZVOLL website through a series of workshops and other channels (beyond the remit of the ECML project) so that the ideas and concepts proposed become common practice in VOLL methodology.


Short-term project (2008-2009)

Contact person

Kerstin Namuth

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