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Languages, like the sea, don’t divide but set us free!
INTERMAR is a project designed to facilitate the reciprocal understanding and learning of languages through intercomprehension in a maritime context. From November 2011, 18 partners have been devising teaching and learning resources for a 60 hour seafarers’ course.
The 7 course modules were produced during the project’s first year and tested in 8 different naval and maritime academies during 2012-2013. These are now ready for use by similar institutions in Europe, wishing to introduce an innovative approach to facilitating foreign language learning and intercultural communication in the curriculum.
The course materials were launched during an event, Intermar for all, that gathered project partners and 28 Naval Academy representatives from 14 EU countries. On 20-21 September 2013, participants were introduced to the concept of inter-comprehension and Intermar’s web page. Five students, from partner academies, shared their feedback about the course during a round table session. Another panel discussion focused on how to include the Intermar Course into the institutional syllabus.
The relevance of the Intermar approach in seafarers’ professional training was fully recognized. Participants particularly mentioned its role in developing intercultural awareness, multilingual competencies and ‘learning-to-learn’ strategies, enabling autonomy for Lifelong Learning. Intermar guests expressed willingness to use the materials, requiring an urgent need for coaching from project partners. Therefore, bilateral work-meetings were planned for the short term with agreement about the need for teacher training courses in the medium and long term.
For more details about Intermar, including free downloading of the course materials, please visit the Intermar website.