ARQUS Alliance
Twinning mobility

Learned from each other in France

Students from the teacher education programme at UiB visited Université Jean Monnet in France. The aim is to learn from each other, and achieve a long-term collaboration between the universities.

Group of students
Associate Professor Myriam Daniele Coco (to the left) visited Université Jean Monnet with her students from UiB, and senior consultant Gita Rongevær (three from the left).
M. Coco / Creative Commons attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Associate Professor of French Didactics, Myriam Daniele Coco, took five of her undergraduate and graduate students to visit Université Jean Monnet in the city of Saint Etienne.

“The aim of the visit was to motivate the students for mobility to France, in addition to becoming better acquainted with another university which UiB may have a long-term collaboration with in the future”, she explains.

Lessons at a high level

During the visit, the students at UiB were able to follow lectures at the university and an upper secondary school, and experience Saint Etienne as a city.

Lisa Héléna Despriee is a master's student in the Teacher Education Programme with French and English. Since her family comes from France, she already speaks the language, but she has lived in Bergen all her life.

“In my experience, there were few cultural differences between us and the French students, but the education environment is a little more formal than in Norway. In terms of content, the lessons were at a high level, even for me who is French”, says Despriee.

Observed French lessons

The Norwegian students got to observe French lessons for foreigners at the Université Jean Monnet, and participate in a workshop with French students. The master's students also made a lecture plan, which was to use either the Norwegian or French curriculum. They presented this in French in front of the other students.

“This was a mandatory task that we were actually supposed to present at UiB, but which we had the opportunity to do in Saint Etienne. It was interesting to see what choices the French students made when they made a lecture plan, because we had different approaches to it”,  Despriee explains.

Created a fictional world

In addition, the master's students worked with Global Simulation. This is a task where they have to create a fictional world, which they have to speak about in French. It is a way of learning languages ​​in a concrete and practical way, since they have to use all their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. They can also use a lot of the curriculum.

“We presented a hotel to show a world on a smaller scale. We had to explain all the details about what the hotel looks like, who works there and who the guests are. The aim was to show how we could use the method for pupils in a classroom, and how it could help them gain a better understanding of French”, says Despriee.

Valuable collaboration

After the visit in Saint Etienne, the bachelor´s students made a video report. According to the evaluations, the students were particularly pleased to gain better intercultural competence, says Associate Professor Myriam Daniele Coco.

“It is also an opportunity for students to reflect upon what it means to be a teacher, and develop language skills. In addition, it is useful for the students to exchange experiences with others”, she says.

The Twinning stay will help to create a longer collaboration between UiB and Université Jean Monnet, where there may be opportunities for mutual exchange between teacher education students. Last year, UiB also received students from UJM Saint Étienne through a Twinning stay.

“It is not so easy to find institutions in Europe that offer similar studies in didactics, or that offer complementary content in their teacher education programmes. Therefore, this collaboration is valuable”, says Coco.