PESCALEX 2 progress meeting in HAKI Szarvas Hungary

Author: Margaret Eleftheriou

31 31 2010

New Development of Language Game

The Progress meeting which took place in the Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) centre was particularly important for the PESCALEX project as partners were able to see the draft version of the new PESCALEX Language Game. The final format (described in the last news bulletin) had been decided at a meeting in May between CETMAR, hosting the Demonstration Workshop, and AQUARK which is concerned with developing the game.

Importance of Keywords in VOLL Language Learning Methodology

Motivation is a crucial aspect of effective language learning. Dr Panos Christofilogiannis (AQUARK) has long held the opinion that while students working in aquaculture are often highly motivated learners, their needs could be better by concentrating on the keywords most useful in the workplace, rather than the purely academic approach favoured by many language providers. His idea was to create a role-playing game in which the participants play two parts: turbot farmers who have just spotted disease symptoms in their stock, and veterinary experts who can quickly give an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment.

At the May meeting, some possible scenario were sketched out, which would involve the use of keywords from the PESCALEX course materials on fish diseases in turbot. The motivation for effective language learning would come from the need, in the role-playing exercise, for a fast diagnosis in order to control the disease outbreak.

PESCALEX Diagnostic Tool

All keywords would be programmed into a Diagnostic Tool fully functional in the PESCALEX partner languages. Participants would thus be able to access observed disease symptoms in their own language, but be able to communicate these symptoms in English (or another partner language) to the fish disease expert. The team role-playing as experts would then be able to receive the information in English (or another of the PESCALEX partner languages) and communicate their diagnosis back to the farmers in the appropriate language.

Tle new tool will be trialled at the European Aquaculture Society(EAS) meeting in Porto in October. The alpha version will be demonstrated and tested for its diagnostic identification capacity at an upcoming workshop which will be organised in October by the Spanish training organisation, CETMAR. Its capacity to facilitate communication between fish farmers and experts in a multi-lingual environment will undoubtedly improve diagnostic capacity for turbot. At present, the tool assists fish farmers to identify possible diseases. Future versions will include an ability to contact an identified expert who can also be sent fish samples. The expert will then be able to use the tool during the identification process to further narrow the list of possible diseases and email the fish farmer the result.

Future prospects

The meeting highlighted the huge potential that PESCALEX 2 has in going forward and the secretariat would like to thank our Hungarian partners for their hospitality and for making the progress meeting such a success.