Text: Thiago Craig Alisauskas

Thiago Craig Alisauskas is a Bachelor’s student at the University of Valencia and Multilingualism in School and Higher Education Lab’s student’s spokesperson for UV.

 

The first Alliance level progress meeting of the Multilingualism Lab was organized on Monday, April 19th.  Everyone collaborating in the Lab, students and staff alike, were invited, along with anyone curious about the Lab’s work. Information about the progress meeting, the registration link to it, and its schedule were found on the University of Jyväskylä’s website more than two weeks before the event (for more details, see here). During the meeting participants got to know the Lab’s current state, outputs that are being developed and their characteristics, and some of the people in the output development teams.

A collaborative Padlet note was opened at the start of the meeting to share feedback. In it, participants could comment their thoughts regarding outputs and about specific issues such as student engagement, diploma papers etc. This simple strategy reflected the collaborative spirit of the Lab from the beginning, which I find healthy and fruitful and helpful for students to make them feel part of the team. Moreover, some synergies arose between outputs during the meeting and Padlet served as an additional means of communication when there was no time for extended spoken chat.

After the introduction, the different outputs and their current state were presented and then opened for discussion. In the wrap up participants discussed the Lab’s practices in small groups and produced conclusions that were posted in the Padlet after being publicly commented by others.

For a Bachelor’s student like me, participating in the event was a pleasure and a whole learning experience at many levels: culturally because I could interact with people from almost all the member universities, academically as this is the subject that brings the Lab’s members together, and socially due to Labs and these kind of encounters being a completely new social context. I even learnt some new words in English through the day.

There is a clear ethos in the Lab that was noticeable during the session and it includes students’ involvement. It is really valuable that we are not perceived merely as a formal requisite for the project, but are seen as valued working partners. My experience is that we are actively encouraged to participate, never pushed out but invited in. There is a wonderful atmosphere in the Lab for students curious about its research and output development.

Regarding the future of the Lab, this event left me with an overall positive feeling. I feel that the Lab has a welcoming attitude towards students’ involvement and is willing to work with us.  Being able to collaborate makes me feel grateful and, days after the meeting, I can only think of what wonderful opportunities this offers to us students, both in the present and in the future.

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