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Development of Methodology for Very Early Language Learning

The aim of the project is to develop a methodology for pre-kindergarten students offoreign languages. The Methodology for Very Early Language Learning is a follow up tothe Mum, Dad and Me Toddler's Club project supported in 2004 - 2006 (Lingua 1). As aresult of the previous project we opened a network of toddlers' clubs in the partnercountries (SK, IT, DE, HU and CZ). Children aged 2 - 3 years have been attending theclub sessions along with their mums/dads and they have been acquiring a foreignlanguage through games, songs, reading books, etc. All six pilot clubs have beenoperating ever since and new ones have opened as a result of dissemination.The project team aims to create a methodology in order to set a standard for the qualityof the club activities and to provide materials which other institutions working in the fieldcould adopt. We believe that the parents' role in the process of the child's languageacquisition at this age is indispensable; therefore the methodology is going to cater fortheir needs as well.The methodology is comprised of four components: a teacher's resource book, aparent's resource book, a video and a workbook. The teacher's resource book willinclude a theoretical rationale covering the characteristics of this specific age group fromthe point of view of developmental psychology and subsequent implications forlanguage teaching. The second part of the resource book will comprise of 80 lessonplans covering a yearly syllabus of club sessions. The video will contain a cartooncovering five topics selected from the resource book to be used to support the toddlers'language acquisition. The action will be accompanied by background music only. Wewill provide a soundtrack in English and French and a guide providing the teacher with ascript to be used while watching the video in Italian, Slovak, or Czech. The parent'sguide will provide parents with tips for further practice in the areas introduced by thesyllabus. The nature of suggested activities will be based on home environment and onthe parent/child relationship. The workbook will contain entertaining activities for thetoddler as well as a dictionary including vocabulary connected with the syllabus topics.In addition to the English version, we will also provide the first part of the teacher'sresource book and the parent's resource book in French, Italian, Czech, and Slovak,and the soundtrack for the video and the workbook in French (French and English arethe two languages taught in the clubs currently). Thus it will be possible to adopt themethodology in clubs throughout Europe.
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