The study of a foreign language is becoming increasingly important in a multilingual Europe. The command of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is widely considered a key competence and requirement for equal opportunities in education, at the workplace and life in general.
The exclusion of persons with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) has been widely recognized and educational policy in the EU is increasingly reflecting this. Various projects have been initiated to improve the professional development of EFL teachers so that they can adapt their teaching to the special needs of individuals with SpLDs.
We are a consortium of 7 partners that worked on a project entitled “Supplemental Self-Help in English as a Foreign Language for Learners with Specific Learning Differences” (SupEFL) which was funded by the Erasmus Program of the European Union. We developed self-help learning materials as Open Educational Resources (OER) for learners with special needs in or more of the following areas: reading, writing, speaking, listening, memory, motivation and/ or learning in general. The objective was to provide learners with specific tools and techniques that they could readily implement to improve their skills and overall competence in the specific area of need. While our project is directed at learners we believe that the materials we have developed are also relevant for EFL trainers and the general population.
English at Work GmbH (Project Coordinator)
English at Work was founded in 1997 and provides training to adult professionals in 39 branches throughout Germany. The head office of the company is in Dresden. English at Work has created training materials for different communication skills and has participated in various EU projects. In addition to English language training, the company also offers skills training, translation services and training in other foreign languages.
E-Training Solutions UG
e-Training Solutions (eTS) is a private company founded in 2012 in Germany. The company develops innovative on-line and off-line synchronous and asynchronous training resources. Its main areas of expertise are multimedia production, writing and developing instructional materials and conducting needs assessments. eTS develops and supports a proprietary content management system for websites and electronic books.
GNW was founded in 1995 and is a SME engaged in several related fields and activities, including counselling services for special learners, providing training and e-learning development for teachers, research in the area of education psychology, translation services as well as software innovation, development and creation.
Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences
With 6.000 students every year, the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (LEU) is the biggest teacher-training institution in Lithuania, education over 70% of the education specialists. The Lithuanian Language and Culture Center which participated in the project implements a number of initiatives to support language teaching and learning.
University of Coimbra
The University of Coimbra (UC) was founded in 1290. The university has 8 faculties – Letters, Law, Medicine, Sciences & Technology, Pharmacy, Economics, Psychology & Education Sciences as well as Sports Sciences & Physical Education). UC is among the major science and technology hubs for applied and fundamental research in Portugal. UC has received national and international funding for hundreds of projects.
Infoart was founded in 2004. The company focuses on IT services and is specialized in knowledge management, research and development of digital libraries and knowledge repositories as well as integrated management systems. The company also has expertise in E-learning and provides publishing services.
Learnmera is a private adult education provider. The company has expertise in creating educational resources and apps and provides online vocational courses. One of the websites they have created has a member base of over 27.000 teachers worldwide. The company has worked on dozens of international projects.