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Artykuł na temat projektu Clavier 2024

Clavier Project: acquiring knowledge and experience in an intercultural context for educational and professional purposes

Kinga Ciura, Natalia Figiel, Julia Próchnicka, Julia Reś, Institute of English Studies students.


Innovative approaches in language education are transforming how students interact and learn from one another. One such approach is the implementation of virtual exchanges that connect students across the globe, offering unique opportunities for cultural and linguistic enrichment. Virtual exchange associated with the Clavier Project took place through social media platforms,  between students from the Jagiellonian University, Poland, and students from  Université d'Auvergne, France, where they engaged in conversations, shared cultural insights, and practiced their language skills in a real-world context. This virtual interaction was more than just language practice; it was a bridge connecting different cultures and fostering mutual understanding. The program culminated in an in-person visit to a university in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The main goal of the exchange was to develop practical skills in teaching English as a foreign language. During this visit, students had the opportunity to meet their virtual friends face-to-face, deepening their connections and gaining a richer appreciation of each other's cultures. The program included the opportunity to conduct live classes for the French students, allowing participants to engage in real-time conversations and exchange cultural insights. This experience also enabled the students to gain valuable teaching skills by facilitating interactive and dynamic lessons. Additionally, it gave the students the a chance to immerse themselves in a different culture, with Polish students being hosted by the French students. This blend of virtual and in-person interaction not only enhanced language proficiency but also cultivated a sense of global citizenship and cultural awareness among the students. Additionally, it was possible to experience firsthand the customs, traditions, and daily life of their French peers, enriching the overall educational journey.

In the realm of English language teaching, traditional methods are giving way to innovative approaches that embrace the diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds of learners. Drawing from observations made in Ecole Bilingue Internationale, a bilingual French primary school, we explore the concept of teaching English as a foreign language within an intercultural framework, where both native and non-native English speakers come together to learn. This article sheds light on innovative approaches we observed in the French educational system, where traditional textbooks take a back seat, and creativity, communication, and collaboration reign supreme.

Our students teaching English in France



Gone are the days when language learning relied solely on textbooks and rote memorisation. Here, educators are at the forefront of a dynamic and interactive revolution, departing from rigid lesson plans to foster spontaneous conversations and authentic communication among students. This shift strongly emphasises speaking and active participation, igniting meaningful dialogues that enhance linguistic proficiency. Teachers act as facilitators, creating an environment where students feel encouraged to express themselves freely and engage in genuine interactions. At the start of each lesson, students were given books and asked to describe the owners in brief sentences. For instance, a child might say, "This book belongs to a blonde girl sitting next to a boy." This activity sparks spontaneous conversation, encouraging students to break the language barrier. It reflects a shift away from traditional memorisation towards dynamic, interactive learning that prioritises genuine communication and fluency. Each student had the opportunity to voice their opinion in the class forum, with everyone listening attentively, sometimes adding their own insights. Such open dialogues build a bond within the class and foster the development of a student community. Through lively discussions, role-plays, and group activities, students are empowered to communicate confidently and fluently in English, breaking down language barriers.

The benefits of this speaking-centric approach extend far beyond language acquisition. By engaging in real-life conversations, students develop essential communication skills such as active listening, proper articulation, and empathy. They learn to navigate the complexities of language and culture, gaining insights into the diverse ways in which English is spoken. Moreover, the emphasis on speaking fosters a sense of community and belonging within the classroom. Students become active participants in their own learning journey, collaborating with peers to construct meaning and co-create knowledge. Through shared experiences and collaborative problem-solving, they develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. As educators embrace this dynamic approach to language teaching, they are paving the way for a new generation of global citizens who are not only proficient in English but also equipped with the communication skills needed to thrive in an interconnected world. By placing speaking at the heart of the learning experience, schools are nurturing confident and empathetic communicators who are ready to engage with the complexities of our diverse and interconnected world.

In the intercultural English language classroom of the bilingual international primary school, mistakes are viewed as opportunities for growth rather than failures to be punished. Educators create a supportive and nurturing environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and experimenting with language. For example, instead of simply saying "wrong," teachers used light-hearted phrases like, "Oops! Looks like we've wandered off Grammar Street. Let's find our way back together!". This approach encourages students to embrace mistakes positively, fostering resilience and progress in their language skills. By reframing mistakes as natural aspects of the learning process, teachers empower students to embrace challenges and learn from their experiences.

Integrating art and craft into language learning serves as a powerful vehicle for cultural expression and understanding. In this school, students explore the intersection of language and culture through hands-on activities, such as creating visual representations of vocabulary words or language-related posters. For instance, following the reading of a story about the legendary Wawel Dragon, students were encouraged to unleash their creativity by crafting their own imaginative drawings of the mythical creature. This interactive exercise not only nurtures their artistic skills but also reinforces language learning as they absorb and interpret the narrative. This experiential approach stimulates creativity while enhancing their language skills. In another project, EFL learners embarked on a journey of imagination as they created their own island. Students invented a unique island name, came up with a name of the tribe inhabiting it, and described its climate and available foods, all while honing their language skills. They then brought their island to life through artwork, crafting bird's eye and underwater views, as well as bonus pictures depicting cultural elements or daily life scenes. This hands-on approach not only enhances language proficiency but also fosters creativity, cultural exploration, and collaboration among students, making the learning process dynamic and enjoyable.

In the vibrant and diverse setting of the bilingual international primary school's intercultural English language classroom, educators tap into an extensive array of resources to cater to the diverse learning preferences and needs of their students. Engaging multimedia materials are carefully selected to enrich the learning experience and foster a deep exploration of language and culture. One of the most powerful resources in the classroom is multimedia materials. Students are exposed to a variety of songs, videos, and interactive exercises that bring the English language to life. For instance, students eagerly participated in singing songs about the days of the week, with each rhythmic chorus reinforcing vocabulary in an engaging manner. Additionally, a catchy tune accompanied the classroom cleanup routine, completed with a countdown, sparking motivation and active participation among students as they tidied up to the beat. These multimedia experiences sharpen listening skills and make learning both enjoyable and enriching. Through catchy songs and lively videos, students not only enhance their listening comprehension skills but also immerse themselves in the cultural context of the language. Interactive exercises provide opportunities for students to actively engage with the language, reinforcing vocabulary and grammar concepts in an enjoyable and interactive manner.

Clavier participants - a socializing moment


Beyond formal classroom instruction, educators encourage students to pursue extracurricular activities and exercises that complement their language learning journey in the bilingual international primary school. To further incentivise and motivate students to engage in these activities, educators introduced a reward system. In this system, students earn stars or other tokens of achievement for completing extra language exercises or participating in extracurricular language activities. These stars could be collected and exchanged for grades. By incorporating extracurricular activities and reward systems into the language-learning curriculum, educators create a dynamic and engaging learning environment where students are not only motivated to excel but also empowered to take ownership of their language-learning journey. This approach not only enhances language proficiency but also fosters a lifelong love for learning and cultural appreciation.

In conclusion, The Clavier Project's virtual exchange between students from Jagiellonian University in Poland and Université d'Auvergne in France facilitated cultural and linguistic enrichment through social media interactions and culminated in an in-person visit to Clermont-Ferrand. This program not only developed practical English teaching skills but also fostered global citizenship and cultural awareness by allowing Polish students to conduct live classes and immerse themselves in the daily life of their French peers. What is more, teaching English as a foreign language within an intercultural framework observed in the bilingual international primary school is a dynamic and transformative endeavour. By embracing creativity, communication, and collaboration, educators create vibrant learning environments where students not only acquire language skills but also develop global awareness. Through innovative approaches and a commitment to diversity, the intercultural English language classroom becomes a catalyst for meaningful learning and cross-cultural understanding. In these immersive environments, students not only gain language proficiency but also cultivate empathy and cultural fluency, preparing them to thrive in our interconnected global community.


This publication was funded by the program Excellence Initiative – Research University at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Publikacja została sfinansowana ze środków programu "Inicjatywa Doskonałości – Uczelnia Badawcza" w Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim.