The idea of the project was born from the realization how important it is for people travelling to neighboring countries to know at least several words or phrases of the country’s language. It can help make your trip much more pleasant and meaningful and feel more self-confident. Moreover, your efforts to address people in their native language will be most rewarding and people will become more open and friendly because of the respect you have exhibited for their country and culture. They will be pleased to learn that their language is important for a newcomer who has come not just for work, studies, but on a visit as well.
What do we offer to help people navigate in a new country stress-free?
Our project’s final product - DVD with a phrasebook offers most essential travel/communication phrases in Lithuanian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Estonian on everyday topics such as Meeting People, Getting Around, Accommodation, Time and Numbers. DVD with learning materials contains dialogues spoken by native speakers from all partner countries and will help practice listening, reading and speaking skills, while phrasebook with survival words and phrases will build your vocabulary.
But it takes more than the language to successfully interact with people from other cultures. You need to understand what their communication norms are, therefore enclosed Cultural tips will be of great help.
Who will benefit?
The aim of the project is to reach people who travel to Baltic and Nordic countries and equip them with language learning tool (DVD with a phrasebook ) for promoting better communication and facilitate their faster integration into a new community. Therefore the project is targeting students, who go to universities to study, civil servants or business people, who usually travel for business purposes, people in search of work, immigrants, tourists or those who move or have already moved for family reasons, such as marriage or maybe visiting grandchildren or new relatives , who don’t speak your language.
How the effectiveness and the need for the final product were tested?
Firstly, the research on the needs of the target groups was carried out in all partner countries and it focused on the importance of languages being promoted, on the content of the survival phrases, needed while travelling and on the purpose of visits. DVD with language learning materials, leaflets with tasks were prepared based on the survey results.
Secondly, the piloting campaigns to test the prepared learning materials were organized in all partner countries. Danish campaign took place on the ferry between Ystad in Sweden and Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm. Project partners from Lithuania launched piloting campaign on board EUROLINES buses (Vilnius-Tallinn-Vilnius express route), while project partners from Estonia, Sweden and Finland ran piloting campaign and competition on languages on board Tallinksilja, travelling on Stockholm-Helsinki, Helsinki-Tallinn, Tallinn-Stockholm , Stockholm-Helsinki , Helsinki-Tallinn routes. Passengers tried DVD , worked on language tasks, intended to pick up some words or phrases in promoted languages and won prizes.
And then, the main emphasis was put on project dissemination activities. Leaflets with info on the project and language quizzes, intended to stimulate interest in Nordic and Baltic countries, were spread during various events, such as “Vilnius days 2009”, "Education. Studies. Career 2010" fair in Vilnius, etc. Quiz winners were awarded a free English language course at Soros International House.
Project was selected as a good practice example and presented during Baltic EXPRO 2010.
Who is involved?
Soros International House, LT-coordinator
International House Tallinn, EE
Vestegnens Sprog-og Kompetencecenter Brondby, DK
Learnwell Oy – The Language Menu, FI
Jarfalla NT-Gymnasium, SE
Project activities were finalized by organizing a dissemination conference in Sweden on 16th April 2010.
The final project product –DVD with a phrasebook will be spread among travel agencies, adult education centers for self learning.