PrimA - the programme's order of events
(1) The preparatory course component, Bilingual Studies Abroad Part I, which always takes place in the winter semester at the BUW, concerns the theory and practice of bilingual education and intercultural learning. Among other matters, the students concentrate on the British school system and the issue of ‘critical incidents’; they prepare themselves in classroom discourse, design and plan units of lessons; they prepare contributions to the life of the partner schools and begin to research and design their individual academic study projects which they will undertake during the course of the placement.
(2) During the three-to-four-month placement during the summer term at a British school, the students conduct their study project; they work in co-operation not only with the staff of their placement school: additionally, they are in contact with their University of Wuppertal tutor, who will visit them towards the middle point of their school placement. During their placements the students act as cultural ambassadors for their own country and thus become more aware of their own cultural backgrounds.
(3) Taking place between the summer and winter semesters at BUW, the follow-up class Bilingual Studies Part II gives the returning students space and opportunity to reflect on their observations, experiences and research projects. This process, mainly conducted through exchanges with other participants and with the lecturer, allows the students to consolidate the progress they have made in intercultural learning, comparing their experience on placement with the expectations they had before the start of their time abroad. A valuable stage of this evaluation process occurs when those returning from placement pass on their experiences to members of the following year.
|May||Attending the information session; individual advice on the timing of the placement|
|June||Assistance in preparing the application; advice on study design and financing the placement|
|September||Assigning the placement; joint meetings and events with returnees; assistance in contacting the school in England or Wales|
|October||Start of the preparatory part of the module including intercultural training and development of teaching skills; advice on scholarships; arranging leave of absence|
|November||Individual advice on study projects; participation in the pre-survey|
|December||Individual consultation on organizational and academic issues; consultation events with International Office and Central counselling for students|
|January||Individual consultation on organizational issues; travel arrangements and finding accommodation|
|February||Preparing for practicalities of life in British schools; completion of the preparatory module|
|April/May||Beginning of the phase abroad: placement in an English or Welsh school; blended learning tasks (task analysis, lesson planning)|
|June||BUW tutor visits the students on placement and discusses their experiences, prospects, development and their study projects|
|July||Blended learning tasks with the home university (material design, assessment of pupils’ work, self-assessment)|
|August||Reflection on the stay abroad, individual advice on academic performance and crediting; participation in the post-surveys|
|September||Meetings and presentations with students taking part in the next round of placements; presentation of the results of students’ study projects; completion of the module|