April and May 2020
In the wake of the ever-changing circumstances, the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office at the College of Europe in Natolin instantly switched to providing online courses, thus avoiding any interruption in the didactic process. Therefore, aside from following online the regular academic curriculum of the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme, Natolin students continued their courses of English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, German and Arabic!
More than 400 classes delivered by all the members of the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office during the pandemic may serve as a proof of the effectiveness of this format of teaching languages and its potential to provide full-featured instruction.
As language lessons are not lectures – the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office adheres to the communicative approach based on current trends in language learning – the office decided to organize meetings in smaller groups but more frequently using the latest and most advanced technological solutions to make the whole process engaging and efficient.
Thanks to this decision, the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office has managed to increase the scope of its educational services, which was met with an enthusiastic student response. Students have been participating in all the lessons, tutorials and consultations provided and have welcomed the fact that the provision of language instruction has not been suspended.
Based on the completion rates for the communication tasks set, written assignments submitted as well as various interactive exercises conducted, it can be clearly seen that the Natolin students of the Hannah Ardent Promotion have exhibited consistently high levels of involvement and activity.
"Over 400 hundred lessons in 8 languages delivered since the beginning of the switch to remote teaching in mid-March are the best proof of the determination and unwavering spirit of our Natolinians of the Hannah Arendt Promotion."
– Dr Marta WOJAKOWSKA, Head of Languages and Intercultural Dialogue, French Language Professor
The intercultural aspect has always had a high priority in the activities of the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office, so the unit considered the communication needs of the students and was aware of the fact that many of them may have found the reduction in interpersonal interaction a source of stress and discomfort. During the language lessons every effort was made to try to minimize such effects and create an atmosphere free of anxiety.
Furthermore, as a result of the pandemic and bearing the community's health and safety in mind, the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office decided to change the structure and format of all language examinations in the examination session. The 125 language exams took place online from 26 May to 20 June 2020.
Thus, such intensified, albeit online, form of interaction has allowed for the Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office and its students to retain, if not bolster, the spirit of the Natolinian community, so much needed in these turbulent times.