Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digit..
Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digital interactive kitchens
Start date: 01 Dec 2011,
This project develops new materials for an existing application of technology to language learning, namely the use of embedded digital sensors (ambient intelligence) together with a Task Based learning approach. In a previous project, we have built digital kitchens that speak to the users in French and give them step-by-step instructions on how to prepare French cuisine. Sensors (accelerometers) are attached to kitchen equipment and ingredients so when an item is correctly or incorrectly moved, participants can be given appropriate verbal feedback. Users learn targeted grammar and vocabulary items by doing the task and are post-tested on those items on a digital screen. Students in classrooms rehearse the language, rather than carrying out actions, and it is difficult to bring foreign culture to life in the classroom. The pedagogical design of the kitchen means that learners learn European languages whilst performing a meaningful real-world task and experience the cultural aspect of learning to cook a European dish. We propose to use the technology developed for the French digital kitchen project to produce materials for other European languages and cuisines: English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Finnish. Partner institutions develop materials for use with specific languages and cuisines, including cultural aspects. The project will produce a network of 7 functioning portable kitchens across Europe, each of which can teach 7 languages and cuisines. Each unit consists of a laptop with touchscreen and a set of utensils with embedded sensors. This study targets lifelong learning, higher and vocational education and training, promoting learning of 7 languages and linguistic diversity. The study will have an impact on learners who use the kitchens, whilst open platform technology means that a much broader exploitation is achievable. Videos of the existing French digital kitchen are on http://digitalinstitute.ncl.ac.uk/iLAB-learn/frenchkitchen
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