Multilingualism Lab’s sustainability meeting – as experienced by new partners



From the 17th-19th of May, representatives of the Multilingualism in School and Higher Education Lab gathered for a sustainability meeting online and in person at the Universitat de València. As members of the University of Agder, we have only very recently joined the Lab (and the Alliance). The meeting helped us getting a good overview of the ongoing, forthcoming and past projects and a nice perspective into where we can fit in. After participating only in a few online meetings before, having the chance to meet in person helped us to gain an understanding of the lab and the projects.

Participants of the sustainability meeting on campus (Photo: Sergio Maruenda-Bataller, University of València)

 

The first day started with a warm welcome by the hosting University. The first session gave us an overview of the piloting period and gave us insides on how the labs and its quality assurance measurements had grown. Although we as newcomers could not contribute much, the subsequent group discussion on the successes, challenges, and good practices so far, made us learn from the other partners’ experiences. The second session on “Sustainability of the outputs (visibility) and update on outputs in progress” helped us understand how thematically broad the projects of the lab are. After the lunch break, we discussed the possibilities of a joint degree with the Universitat de València in an informal meeting. It was much appreciated that we had this time slot available in the official programme to exchange thoughts and ideas in a smaller group.

The second day was similarly inspiring to us. The presentation and discussion of the next funding period gave us more details on organisational and administrative aspects. The presentations of new output ideas once again showed the diversity of the lab and its projects. After the lunch break, we had the opportunity to get together with some more colleagues from the Universitat de València to discuss future projects and exchanges.

On day three we presented our planned initiatives, along with other new initiatives. Our initiative, “Motivation and innovation in language learning to develop multilingualism”, was well received, and we left the meeting with several ideas of how to further develop and link our initiative to others that were presented during the meeting. We are also interested in further investigating the potential in the EDLCC, European Degree of Language, Culture and Communication.

Next to the great official programme, the organisers from the University of Valencia outdone themselves in creating a nice atmosphere surrounding the official parts of the meeting – from organising lovely lunch breaks with great food and great company, to a little self-organised city walk as well as a guided tour of the old university building in the heart of Valencia. These additional events gave us the opportunity to get to know the city as well as each other better and to talk about ideas and projects in a less formal environment.

All in all, the meeting was a great success from our point of view – both on an academic and a social level.

 

Text by Eli-Marie Danbolt Drange, Tale Margrethe Guldal and Jean Nitzke (University of Agder)

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