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QATrain GRUNDTVIG Project

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Contex
The QATrain project, co-funded by the EU Commission through the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), is being developed by a partnership of 7 European organizations led by OPTIMA. This GRUNDTVIG Learning Partnerships project started on 1 October 2013 and will last for 24 months.

Summary
This Learning Partnership - 'Quality Assessment Training' (QATrain) - is conceived as a follow-up to the ISQALE (Improving Standards of Quality in Adult Language Education) Grundtvig Project. The main aims are to facilitate, consolidate and extend the implementation of Quality Improvement in adult language education, to ensure long-term sustainability and robustness of processes. To achieve these aims, it will refine the Quality Improvement Scheme developed through ISQALE, adapting it to various contexts of adult education and addressing specific needs identified in the piloting stage. The 'QATrain' project will build on the partners' professional expertise and positive outcomes of 'ISQALE', while seeking to synchronize these with the latest developments in European language policy, documents and Europe-wide quality-oriented projects (e.g. CEFR and ELP for language learners, European Profiling Grid for language educators (EPG), NELLIP focusing on project quality). To achieve the aims proposed, QATrain will be structured in stages and layers, so as to develop detailed procedures for internal and external assessment of quality with a focus on lifelong learning skills. This will involve targeted networking for extending and diversifying the pool of expertise, developing Guidelines for internal quality improvement processes, involving external experts in preparation for external quality assurance, as well as developing and organising Quality-oriented training for assessors and multipliers, to ensure the coherence and sustainability of implementation processes both locally and internationally.

Objectives
The main aim of the project is to develop further the Scheme for Internal and External Assessment which was result of the ISQALE Project by creating detailed procedures for its application in all project partner institutions. The "QATrain" project will also attempt to provide professional training for certifying expert assessors, who will use the Scheme during external assessment of quality in language institutions on national and international level.
The ultimate target is to enhance enduringly the quality of foreign languages providers and to develop the management of adult education in the participating countries. The working out of an enriched quality assurance system will entail the following secondary objectives:

  • To further improve the Quality Improvement Scheme by synchronizing it with the European language policy, with EAQUALS/British Council documents in particular (CEFR, EPG, Core Inventory), to identify possible adult language education gaps and language policy-related mismatches
  • To disseminate the results and share the Grundtvig ISQALE experience in the area of quality teaching and learning with new partner institutions and countries 
  • To adapt the ISQALE Scheme to specific contexts of adult education  
  • To build on the existing professional expertise of partners  in order to develop a detailed procedure for internal and external assessment of quality with a focus on lifelong learning  skills
  • To work out Guidelines for consulting staff, academic and administrative managers in conducting internal and external assessment procedures 
  • To plan and organize training events for staff doing internal assessment of quality in their language institutions with a focus on learning outcomes and values 
  • To plan and organize training courses for expert assessors doing external assessment of quality in language institutions with a focus on learning processes 
  • To identify and assess the impact of life long learning in different educational contexts in a comparative manner across the countries participating in the partnership 
  • To create opportunities for international mobility of teachers, managers and experts 
  • By implementing detailed procedures for assessment, to disseminate innovative practices and to promote ways of improving pedagogical approaches and the management of adult education organizations.

Partners

  • 0PTIMA, the Bulgarian Association for Quality Language Services, Bulgaria - Project Coordinator
  • The Croatian Chamber of Economy,The Association for Foreign Languages, Croatia
  • QUEST Romania, The Romanian Association for Quality Language Services, Romania
  • Hellenic American Union, Greece
  • University of Zaragoza, Department of English and German Studies, Spain
  • NYESZE, Association of Hungarian Languages Schools, Hungary
  • AISLi, Professional Association of Quality Language Schools, Italy

Meetings

  • First project meeting - Bucharest, Romania
  • Second project meeeting - Budapest, Hungary
  • Third project meeting - Zaragoza, Spain

Project Brochure