Another edition of the annually organised EFIL Training for Trainers (TfT) took place 14-22 October in Prague, Czech Republic. It gathered a motivated group of 20 trainers active nationally in 16 European AFS organisations, for a week of intense learning and practising training skills.

The 2018 Training for Trainers, next to general trainer competences, focused on two additional aspects:

  • the specific skills needed to be facilitators of online learning,
  • the contents related to new angles of intercultural learning to be applied in daily life.

Consequently, the training for the first time included an online preparatory phase. Between mid September and mid October participants were the first pilot users of the newly developed DICE course prototype (Developing Intercultural Competence through E-learning). This experience gave the group some first content insights, started the reflection on the use of online learning in training and finally brought valuable feedback to the DICE course development team. It certainly became clear that online learning attached to in-person events doesn’t come without challenges, and that EFIL and AFS still have a lot to learn in this regard! We also learned during this project that online facilitation is a larger competence area which might not be realistic to fully address in a general TfT event. The choice was made to practise most of all the live session facilitation, at the same time being aware the online learning may consist of many more elements and methods.

The Training for Trainers, as usual, included practice sessions for real participant groups. This year it was done through a combination of online sessions (for AFS volunteer participants all over Europe) and in-person ones (for participants of the national volunteer training Megavikend organised by AFS Czech Republic). Cooperation and involvement of both Czech and the international volunteer audiences was very helpful to allow the TfT group for implementation of trainer skills in a concrete setting. The in-person sessions could not have taken place without the cooperation of AFS Czech Republic whose staff and volunteers helped in organising the synergy between the training and the Megavikend, and in local logistics overall. A big thank you for that!

The preparatory team of the TfT consisted this year of: Fareeda Atwan (AFS Egypt), Andras Zalan Nagy (AFS Hungary), Jeroen Vandenbempt (AFS Belgium Flanders) and Anastasia Baskina (external trainer), assisted by Izabela Jurczik-Arnold and Nicolas Martig from the EFIL office. The team certainly also deserves big gratitude, as their competent work lasted much longer than the event itself!

The Training for Trainers, as well as the DICE course development project, are a part of EFIL’s annual work plan for 2018 “Intercultural Learning in the 21stcentury: impact and approaches to unite polarised societies”, supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

For more information: [email protected]