Preparing for Cohort 3


We’ve had a summer of reflection on the programme so far and projection to the next cohort and the final dissemination event.  In order to prepare for cohort 3, we’re heading to beautiful Barcelona next month to be hosted by our wonderful colleagues at the University of Barcelona.  We’ll be discussing the Study Week (30 March – 3 April 2020) and the Multiplier Event to be held on Insel Reichenau in June 2020 – find out more information here .


This week, Mareike Oesterle from Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe has been visiting us here in Newcastle to collaborate on the assessment and evaluation framework that we will produce as an output of the proPIC project.  It’s been great fun working together and shows how important transnational collaboration is in this project and indeed, in many aspects of teaching and learning.  Hopefully the connections and networks that we are building will continue well beyond the project!



Our colleague from Barcelona University goes home!

We’ve been very lucky here in Newcastle to have had Jaume Batlle Rodriguez from Barcelona University working with us for the last five months.  Jaume took advantage of working on an Erasmus+ project to spend some time in a partner university, collaborating with us on a number of projects.

To celebrate his final day here, he kindly cooked a typical Catalan recipe for us, “suquet de peix”.  This dish contains fish, potatoes, tomatoes, peas and garlic, and we ate it along with a salad dressed with “salsa romesco” (Romanesco sauce), a typical sauce made with tomatoes, roasted red peppers, hazelnuts, bread and garlic – and of course, lots of good Spanish olive oil!

Jaume recorded his recipe for the Linguacuisine app (available at  You can download the app from your app store and give it a try at home!

Moltès gracies Jaume!  It’s been great having you here!

Study Week May 2019


Back row L-R:  Emilie (Bo), Jessica (K), Sonja (K), Esma (KR), Alexa (KR), Julia (Ba), Marie (Bo).  Front row L-R:  Beatrice (Bo), Pauline (KR), Bailey (Bo)

Study Week 6th-10th May 2019

pieWhat a great week we had here in Newcastle!  Ten students  – three from Karlsruhe, two from Kiel, four from Boras and one from Barcelona – spent the week talking, laughing and eating, and had a very enjoyable time despite the terrible weather!

The week began with a cultural visit to Durham and a look at its famous cathedral.  We then met for a classic English meal of pie, mash and that North-East delicacy, pease pudding. 

Tuesday started with a tour of the campus, and a talk from Rene Koglbauer, Executive Director of North Leadership Centre at the university, about UK educational policy.


We then worked together to solve a murder mystery – and it turned out that Emilie was the dastardly killer!  We used Kahoot to show how an interactive digital quiz can increase engagement and participation, and looked at e-portfolios to discuss the importance of reflection and how this can be documented throughout both our teacher training and our teaching career.

A cold and rainy Wednesday saw us in iLab with Jon Haines, co-creator of the VEO (Video Enhanced Observation) app, and we had the opportunity to practise recording each other using “tagsets” to comment and reflect on the process.  We followed this up with a visit to Ponteland High School, where we saw a variety of digital techniques in action in the classrooms, and learnt about Google Classroom and how it is used in teaching and assessment.

On Thursday we had two very enjoyable morning workshops before spending the afternoon working on individual presentations.  First up was Linguacuisine, where we learnt Italian with Paul by cooking involtini in the digital kitchen in the iLab.  The end result was delicious and everyone managed to learn at least a few Italian words!


We followed our fun in the kitchen with a session with David Leat, Professor of Curriculum Innovation, and Ulrike Thomas, Senior Research Associate, both of whom work within CfLaT (the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching) on innovative classroom methods such as enquiry-based and project-based learning.  David gave us a thinking skills mystery to discuss – as there is no right or wrong answer, we had some interesting theories and reasons for their final decisions from each group.  The groups then devised their own mysteries for the others to work on.  All the students were really impressed by the activity, and intend learning more about thinking skills activities and how they can be used in a language learning classroom.


We sneaked in a delicious Afternoon Tea on Thursday afternoon at the Tyneside Cinema – the first taste of scones for many of the students!

juliaOur final day was devoted to presenting what we had learnt during the week, and there were some excellent presentations of digital tools including the infographic tool Genially, online opinion app Answergarden, and interactive book creators like Instant Flipbook.  The students showed us their e-portfolios and explained how they had developed throughout the week.

The collaboration and discussion that we all took part in over the course of the week was outstanding, and the students returned home having built a new network of transnational contacts, learned new teaching and learning techniques and tools for the language classroom, and developed reflection skills which will help them immeasurably as they progress through their teacher training and begin their practice.  Well done on a really enjoyable and interesting week, and come back to visit any time (give me advance warning so I can stock up on tea and biscuits though…)!



A great partner meeting in Boras!

The partners from all the universities involved in ProPIC met in Boras in Sweden last week to discuss the upcoming study week, e-portfolio creation and how we assess the programme.  It was enlightening and engaging, and the weather was great too!

Particularly interesting was hearing how each partner is incorporating the programme into their own courses and how their students are getting involved.  Digital skills and competences are of course a key area that we are exploring, and here at Newcastle we’re thinking about our e-portfolios and how we can use them to demonstrate not just our digital skills but also to document how we are becoming reflective practitioners.

We’re now excited to start meeting our colleagues and fellow students from the partner universities in preparation for collaborating with them during the study week!


One Year On…

We are already one year into the ProPIC project! So what have we been up to so far?

All five partners attended an initial kick-off meeting in Karlsruhe, where we agreed on a schedule for the project and divided up responsibilities between the partners. The first few months allowed us time to set up regular communication channels, work on the online modules, and set up the study week for our home students, and for the students who would travel from Newcastle to our partner universities.


In June, we hosted our partners here in Newcastle. It was a great opportunity to show them our wonderful city and to collaborate further on the work we had all been doing on the website, online modules, and study week.


During the first study week in September, we hosted students from Karlsruhe and Kiel, while our Newcastle students visited our partners in Barcelona and Karlsruhe. We had a variety of sessions, including talks from academics at the University and VEO demonstrations, as well as social events. The feedback we have received has been positive, and we are now already planning our second study week in May.

We are excited about what comes next. Our students are currently working on their research projects, which have been incorporated into their studies so that they form part of their degree. Next year, we will also be hosting researchers from our partner universities in Barcelona, Kiel, and Karlsruhe as they too complete exchanges, and our next partner meeting takes place in February in Borås!

Keep an eye on this blog and social media platforms for further updates!

Welcome to the ProPIC @Newcastle Blog!

Welcome to the ProPIC @Newcastle blog! This blog is intended to chart the experience of the teacher educators and the students involved in the ProPIC research project, for which Newcastle University’s School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences is one of 5 international partners (alongside the University of Barcelona, University of Borås (Sweden), the University of Kiel (Germany), and the University of Education Karlsruhe (Germany).


The ProPIC project is working with foreign language teachers, supporting them in the use of mobile technologies and promoting transnational collaboration. Students taking part in the project have the opportunity to take online learning modules, complete an ePortfolio, and complete a study week abroad at one of the five partner universities.

We are now in the second year of the project. So far, the research staff working on the project have met in Karlsruhe and Newcastle in addition to their regular online meetings, and students from all 5 universities have completed study weeks abroad. Students have also been working on their own research projects reflecting on their teaching and the subject matter covered during the ProPIC course. Here’s our international students during the Newcastle study week in September – notice the Newcastle University jumpers and hoodies too!


We’ll be writing about the experiences of our research staff, Newcastle students taking part in the project, and the international students who come to visit us in Newcastle throughout the project. So please continue to visit this blog to find out more about the ProPIC project in Newcastle!

Further information on the ProPIC project can also be found via the main website (, Facebook (@propiceuropa), and Twitter (@proPIC_Europa).