Presentation of the project at the 3rd International Children and Communication Congress

Date: 2006-12-01
The paper presented in the 3rd International Children and Communication Congress, University of Istanbul, Turkey, on the 8th of November 2006 intended to present ways of developing students' cross-cultural communication skills within an international project conceived and carried out by four schools from Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Romania. Communication is purposive, goal-directed.
The most fundamental goals of communication are to establish human relationship and to improve knowledge on different topics. In the 21st century, the century of globalization, communication is a challenge in many ways. For example, effective cross-cultural communication is a must, yet school curricula provide few opportunities for students to improve their cross-cultural communication skills.

"Encouragement for Changes" is a Comenius school project. Four schools from four European countries decided to develop it together in order to enhance their ability to provide education, training, guidance and information to children, particularly female students, so as to improve their employment chances. Within this broad framework, "Encouragement for Changes" aims to develop students' understanding of cultural diversity and awareness of individual cultures; to encourage students to be more self-confident and motivated in learning by discovering themselves and others; and last, but not least, to develop their cross-cultural communication skills. Some of the project activities have focused specifically on developing skills necessary for effective oral and written communication between students from different countries/ schools; between students and teachers from different countries/ schools; between students and associated partners. In order that they develop oral communication skills, students have been involved in ice-breaking activities during project meetings, presentations, guided tours of the city, interviews etc. To improve their written communication skills, students have been required to write e-mails, papers, written feedback, newsletters.
It is the belief of the participating schools that, in a unified Europe, effective cross-cultural communication skills will increase young people's chances of participation in the economic, social, and political life of their time.

The presented paper can be downloaded here.
Istanbul presentation.pdf