Project No. 2018-1-CZ01-KA203-048150
HELP2 – HEalthcare Language Learning Programme – is a follow-up project based on HELP – Healthcare English Language Programme (2014-2017) implemented under Erasmus+. The learning materials which come in various forms (online platform, an app for mobile devices, audio, video and paper based) cover a wide range of medical topics as is the often neglected issue of interculturality and the challenges that professionals face when working in or with people of cultures different from their own. The contribution to improve HE studies was recognized as the project won the European Language Label 2017. This creates a safe building ground and motivating starting point. In their comment on selecting HELP as a winning project, the jury said: “The platform that has been created is innovative and well-structured. It could be adapted for use with languages other than English.” This gave the international consortium the impetus for this follow-up project to further develop the existing materials and choosing German as a new language learning offer.
HELP2 brings together an international interdisciplinary staff to create the programme. The international team is composed of language teachers, linguists, pedagogues, experts for intercultural training, medical doctors and software engineers from six countries from East and Central Europe (BG, CZ, LT, PL, RO, SK) and two West European countries (DE, PT). The idea to continue transfer and exchange of expertise in both directions, West, Central and East Europe in a learning project was an important criterion to choose partners. Similar didactical design is used for the modules of the learning programme but authors bring in a real treasure, a European perspective of various didactical approaches – different national “handwritings”. Thanks to funding from the EU HELP2 creates a product of successful European cooperation and with a European perspective.
HELP2 enlarges the existing programme of 14 English modules by 14 new ones chosen by previous needs assessment and stakeholders’ feedback. HELP2 gives a first answer to the growing demand of German for medical purposes by creation of 10 learning modules covering important medical and intercultural issues. Also the intercultural learning section is enlarged.
HELP2 products come in the following formats: Modules in English, Modules in German, online Moodle platform (with downloadable content), Mobile app and a Print-ready textbook (e-book), freely available under Creative Commons licences CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 (open licenses), Apps included, to make HELP2 results a free, flexible, modular and high quality learning tool to support further development of Higher Education and VET. The platform continues freely available after project lifetime thanks to a long-term sustainability agreement about hosting by the partners. For the open platform HELP2 uses Moodle because it is free and used by many training institutions. Modules provide cartoon videos, key words, variety of exercises using media potentials, language corners and dialogues recorded by natives and non-natives as a realistic approach. The programme contains user guide, instructions for self-learners and tips for foreign language learning to support informal learning. Usefulness of content for practice is the most important motif in language learning. Authors also sought to keep a good balance between professional focus and development of communication skills. The content and media address also the emotional side to support learning.
Outcomes of the project increase capacity and professionalism to work at EU/international level facilitate mobility on the labour market, access to medical content from publications, better preparation for scientific cooperation and exchange.
HELP2 allows Higher Education institutions to be open to more flexible learning and to introduce more access routes. It also allows more flexibility of higher education studies focused on both, the labour market and the wider society, improving professional and personal competence.
HELP2 creates learning resources and curricula at Higher Education level for medical professions that combine in an innovative way linguistic and intercultural preparation to meet the challenges of the intercultural workplace. HELP2 with its holistic alignment combines best practice from traditional high quality foreign language learning programmes and latest potentials to widen formal and informal learning using new ICT based didactical options and technical devices.
HELP2 is the innovative answer, challenging HE educational staff to further develop teaching and learning approaches and step into new ways with flexible offers. HELP2 is the innovative answer to students’ and professionals´ learning needs and to meet their learning interests and motifs. Its implementation also improves employability and competitiveness in the view of new European employment possibilities for healthcare professionals.