eTwinning- the European Partnerships of schools- is the educational programme of European Union. It promotes the usage of ICT technologies in European schools. Pupils and teachers use Internet to cooperate beyond borders. They change information and teaching aids. eTwinning motivates to learn and be tolerant for every European citizen.
eTwinning is a project aimed at schools. It provides virtual space and organizational support to help teachers find partners in European countries to work together and share mutual interests and develop mutual understanding between young people. The project gives learners opportunities to develop a board range of competences: linguistic, intercultural and technical, in a natural, extended learning environment. The difficulty of the selected project theme must be similar to the pupils’ intellectual and linguistic level. They learn how to communicate in writing and speech in various languages. Their motivation to learn selected languages mainly English as a global language, and the need for them increase, because vocabulary and grammar are acquired for immediate, and not future use. The topics are selected by both the teachers and by their learners according to their interests and aims. Thus, learning becomes more individualized and emotionally involving. Working in groups, both in- class and with partners abroad, creates many occasions for exchanging views and opinions, organizing and presenting them with a clear communicative aim. By using e-mail, chats, for a, creating and publishing web pages, multimedia audio and video files (for example in Power Point) they develop reading and writing in genres characteristic for digital means of communication. ETwinning helps schoolchildren no only learn about other cultures, but also understand their native culture and its values better. They have a chance to discover common universal human values in broader than local context. Searching for such values is a main feature of growing up during school years. Children learn how to identify cultural similarities and differences and accept both of them in a non-judgmental way. They also learn how to differentiate behaviour accepted in another culture, which may be odd in the native culture, from behaviour which is unacceptable in any culture. Knowledge of the eTwinning partner’s culture and intercultural experiences gained in the project build openness and tolerance towards other cultures in general. A positive attitude to people speaking different languages and having their own customs raises curiosity and helps to reduce the concept of foreignness and strangeness. Young people become “global citizens”.
The school European cooperation coordinator- Marlena Niemczyk-Handzlik