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International dimension of IME course


IME international dimension photo


Students and staff from the PGCE programme in St Mary’s University College recently participated in an Erasmus Intensive Programme in Aabenraa, Southern Denmark. The project was named, Strengthening Minority Identity and Language Education (SMILE), and it was based in the folk high school, Højskolen Østersøen.

Students and staff engaged in workshops and lectures on themes relating to minority languages. Dr Gabrielle Maguire and Dr Eibhlín Mhic Aoidh represented St Mary’s and gave a presentation on Irish-medium education with a focus on teacher education. The international audience shared insights and experiences of teaching and learning in a target language, often a minority language. Participants were very interested in the learning materials produced in St Mary’s Áisaonad, as well as other developments in the College. The students and staff visited schools in South Denmark where German is the medium of communication. Students prepared lessons and taught in a range of German-medium schools in the area. Their lessons were creative and interactive, as they employed immersion strategies to teach primary school pupils. Their observations formed the basis of reflections and dynamic debate on minority languages and educational issues.


IME international dimension photo


International partners included students and staff from universities in Germany, Hungary, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden and professional relationships were strengthened between all partners. Student teachers from St Mary’s disseminated information about this international dimension in a presentation to their peers in June 2014.