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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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The Romanian Athenaeum

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Arts & Music

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction

Any language

CEFR level


Type of Material

Guiding resources (online course/book)

Linguistic Features



Critical Thinking


The source presents a text which describes the building of the Romanian Athenaeum Concert Hall from the architectural point of view, also providing information on the history of the building. An architectural jewel built between 1886 and 1888, the Atheneum has the value of a symbol of the national culture. The inspiration for this project created by French architect Albert Galleron came from the Opera of Paris. The article describes the circular form of the building, its fronton, the marble hall and the stairs that lead to the concert hall. The text also highlights the richness of the interior frescos presenting the most important moments from Romanian history. The article also mentions the acoustic aspect – the perfection of sound which is due to the construction of the dome. We believe that these details and the architectural terminology associated will be both useful and interesting for the students who wish for a deeper study of architecture, level B1-B2.

Case study

The resource The Romanian Athenaeum/Ateneul roman was used in a 90-minute unit with a group of students from the preparatory year enrolled at the Petroleu Gas Technical University of Ploiesti. It must be mentioned that the group had only had lessons in Romanian since the beginning of November, so the resource graded level B2 C1 was assessed by students as very difficult in terms of specialized vocabulary, as well as of the grammar points it includes. However, according to the answers provided by the students in the questionnaire applied at the end of the class, they found it useful especially in terms of the vocabulary. They also mentioned that the resource offered them the opportunity to find more about Romanian culture. Mihaela-Gabriela Badea, Universitatea „Petrol-Gaze” din Ploieşti, Facultatea de Litere şi Ştiinţe, Departamentul Filologie


Reading comprehension, specialised vocabulary, level B2-C1.
1. Teacher announces the title – The Romanian Athenaeum.
2. Activating the schemata. Teacher shows students pictures with the Romanian Ateneu Concert Hall and asks them the following questions: What do you think this building is meant for? When do you think it was built? Where do you think it is located?
3. Introduction of the specialised vocabulary. Teacher hands out the glossary that has to be completed by students. The glossary will contain the following terms: neoclassical, dome, acoustics, circular form, foundation, imagistic, ionic column, fronton, medalion, mosaic, doric column, baroque, reverberation. Students have to look these words up in DEX and to write their definitions down on the handout.
4. Teacher asks students to guess the context in which the words from the glossary will be used in the text about the Romanian Athenaeum, looking at the pictures they saw at the beginning of the lecture.
5. Students read the text about the Romanian Athenaeum. Teacher asks students to find the words from the glossary in the text and to trascribe the respective contexts to the glossary.
6. Discussion. Teacher asks the following questions: Is there a similar building in your city / country? What world-famous buildings does it resemble?
7. Teacher asks students to choose a building (from their country or from abroad) which resembles the Romanian Athenaeum and to describe its architectural features.

Achieved results:
- the use of specialised vocabulary from the target field
- the development of the skill of reading a specialised text and extracting the relevant information
- the accumulation of knowledge in the field of architecture.
Risks that have to be taken into account:
- students may face difficulties in understanding the terms typical of the target field; teacher has to provide the necessary assistance.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills


Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning


Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries


Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning


Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need


Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


The resource consists of a text describing the most important historic and architectural details about this landmark of Romanian architecture and seat of Romanian operatic and orchestral music in the form of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra of Bucharest. It also includes names of major personalities associated with this institution, belonging to both Romanian and international music. The text is associated with 2 short audio materials (0.49 mins and 0.27 mins) that present the same information and complement the text on the site. 5 relevant photos also accompany the text, where some of the architectural details, frescoes, foyer etc. and can be used to correlate the text and audio information with the visual elements. The varied information, the three mediums associated, the interest of the inforamtion provided will increase the usability of the resource and enhance the students’ motivation.
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