The Project

Background

In 2011 21 million tourists from the Russian Federation traveled to Europe. International outbound travel from Russia is forecast to grow on average 6% year-on-year through 2016. The main destinations in the European Union are ex Soviet Republics and Eastern and border countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic and Finland where Russian is often well spoken) as well as France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Content, Aims and Objectives

The project RETOUR, which started on the 1st of January 2014 and will last until the 30th of June 2016, aims to develop, pilot and valorise a training programme for the Russian language addressed to workers in the retailing, restaurant and hotel sectors. More specifically it will be geared towards shopkeepers, porters, receptionists, waiters, barmen etc.

The training programme will be made available in French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, English and Bulgarian. As almost all personnel working in the catering and hotel industry in Europe speak some English, the English version will be used by personnel belonging to other EU countries.

The training programme will include:
1. 30 short videos on typical situations within the hotel, restaurant and retail sectors. Every video will feature an introduction in the partner’s language explaining the context of the dialogue with images and graphic elements showing the most important terms and syntax rules. A final test for assessment of comprehension will also be included. The videos will be produced in several different versions so to cater to the level of every learner.

2. Paper based material (30 transcriptions of the dialogues, 6 units with grammar hints and exercises referred to the 30 videos) will be used for teaching in standard learning settings (classes).
3. 6 additional videos will explain how to plan and monitor a personal learning programme to foster self directed learning and will give advice on the intercultural dimensions to be kept in mind when dealing with Russian tourists.

4. 2 guides on how to use the RETOUR materials, one for teachers and one for learners.

A personal space with the possibility to record voices of trainees, an App for Android and a dedicated channel on YouTube will also be developed.

The RETOUR training programme will be based on the methodology developed in the previous KA2 project L-Pack (www.l-pack.eu) and will be structured using learning outcomes (for example: being able to receive and confirm a reservation in Russian). The L-Pack project methodology for self-directed learning of L2, carried out mostly outside the traditional classroom, can be very useful for teaching Russian to people that work most of the time (in restaurants, hotels, retail sector) and don’t have time to attend traditional classes. The goal of the project Retour is to apply this methodology to the teaching of Russian and to bring the learners from 0 to A2 level (CEFR).

The RETOUR training programme is addressed to:

  1. People working in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors
  2. Organisations and L2 teachers training people working in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors
  3. Others:  Associations of owners of restaurants, hotels and shops, social partners, linguists, language universities, researchers in the field of distance and mobile learning etc.