What is and what is not EIO (European and international orientation)? This question was raised at a discussion at the network meeting last Thursday for bilingual vmbo (tvmbo) schools. Does an activity week in the UK where children do outdoor activities “count” as EIO? No-one seemed to know the answer and the general opinion seemed to be that it wasn’t really EIO. I disagreed!
On Friday I went to a conference organized by the European Platform, ‘Met talen kom je verder’ and gave another workshop about tvmbo. Luckily, the expert on EIO from the European Platform was there, so I asked him: ‘Is an outdoor activity week in the UK EIO? Can it count?’ ‘Of course it’s EIO!’ he said. Schools are obliged to have a project or projects in their curriculum where students actually work together in English in their EIO programme. By doing this, they fulfill one of the demands of the EP’s quality standard for TTO. But a 24-hour visit to Dover, or Canterbury, or a week’s outdoor activity is a good addition to a whole EIO programme.