LARA Workshops

Date: 15 February, 2002
Location: Nottingham Trent University
Event type: Workshop

Past Event Summary

Staff in modern language departments who are responsible for residence abroad are agreed that, if the period abroad is to fulfil its essential role in the learning process, the students themselves must be taught how to take responsibility for their own learning, using as their raw material the new linguistic and cultural situation in which they find themselves. The innovative courses and other materials prepared by the members of the Learning and Residence Abroad (LARA) consortium and distributed to all UK higher education institutions in 2000 aroused great interest across the sector, especially the course of training in ethnographic methods designed to enable the students to build up their intercultural understanding rigorously and effectively, and the models of learning agreements, a valuable aid to effective assessment.

LARA offered two regional workshops on these essential topics, designed both for those wishing to find out more about the principles involved and the methods proposed, and for those wishing to exchange ideas about their own experience in implementing these approaches. Looking beyond the workshops, the LARA team will be happy to negotiate free consultancy arrangements with departments either already using the ethnographic approach and/or learning agreements or wishing to pursue them further. Those interested in pursuing the ethnography programme are invited to contact


10.30 Registration and coffee

11.00 Intercultural Learning: the principles and methods of the ethnographic approach explained (Celia Roberts, Shirley Jordan). This session will include an opportunity for questions.

12.45 Lunch

13.30 Parallel sessions:

A: Learning Agreements (Jean Burrell and colleague):

13.30 How learning agreements can help students structure their learning while abroad and provide teachers with a potential assessment tool. This session will call on the experience of departments already using learning agreements.

14.30 Workshop on the use of different models of learning agreement and dealing with the problems that arise.

B: Intercultural Learning (Celia Roberts, Shirley Jordan):

13.30 Workshop on the implementation of the LARA Ethnography for Language Learners course, with particular emphasis on the 'home' and final projects.

15.30 Joint round-table discussion and conclusions.

16.00 Tea

For further information about the LARA project, see the project website.