CZ

ICCAGE

In 2018, ICCAGE has been declared the best Erasmus+ Project in Czech Higher Education.

The main objective is to innovate Intercultural Communication (ICC) language teaching and learning in Higher Education (HE) in the light of new technologies, new participatory cultures of learning, and global employability.
In an increasingly globalised world of intercultural dialogue and international business, HE is facing challenges such as communication barriers, cultural stereotypes, prejudice, identity conflict and language deficiency which compounds the lack of skills to interact successfully. Only through the acquisition of ICC can these problems be minimised.

Although the need for the acquisition of ICC is clearly stated in the EU language policy, this concept is wide, leading to multiple interpretations and solutions for ICC courses across European HE institutions. Sharing knowledge of the practices at other HE institutions is essential for further innovation.
Currently, courses taught in European HE institutions face multiple challenges. A significant factor is the lack of in-service support for university educators in the ICC area, which could either be approached through language courses or transversally in the curricula; and local contexts of cultural and linguistic homogenisation in European countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic, that would require strategies to motivate teachers and students to go beyond their own cultural comfort zone.

Further challenges include the changing intercultural communication needs of the global job market; the need to use and integrate new ICT in HE methodologies and enhance electronic literacy; and the perception of English/Spanish as a Lingua Franca to participate in ICC.

Innovation:

  • The project applies ICT and use telecollaboration and participatory strategies into the HE EU context. ICT will be used as both a means and tool of the virtual international project university team-work in the field of ICC and language learning/teaching. Previous experience from the participating universities reflects the need to develop new teaching formats with the potential to be more effective.
  • The project is aimed at developing skills and competences which are key factors of academic and professional success. Thus it represents a major step in the modernisation of HE and in achieving the goal of enhancing the employability of young people in the global job market.
  • The project enables institutions to vary the curricula - both content and methodology -  and enrich the traditional in-class teaching approaches. It supports individual skills and pace, academic and personal growth, foster tolerance, negotiating and problem solving abilities while increasing the responsibilities of students to be motivated and continue long-life learning/teaching.
  • It develops ICC content and methodology in homogenous European cultures whose languages are not widely spoken in Europe as either a first or foreign language (Czech and Hungarian) and strengthens their interculturality and global understanding. The collaboration cultures with multilingual and multicultural societies, such as Spain or Portugal with other language speaking cultures in the world will have positive impact on the mutual perception of intercultural aspects.
  • ICC is generally developed with English as the Lingua Franca, so it will be valuable to include another foreign language in the project such as Spanish and thus support the concept of a multilingual environment and contributing towards meeting EU policy on language education and better job opportunities.
  • Finally, this project further develops the concept of some successfully implemented projects such as the Erasmus Multilateral Project INTENT (Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education) and the INTERACT project on Intercultural Active Citizenship Education.
Monika Hřebačková MA
Project Coordinator
Tomáš Groll MA
Project Administrator

Feel welcome to contact us for further information and advice.