Parents as Successful teacherS
Start date: Jan 1, 2011,
Parents speaking at least one foreign language are becoming more and more natural throughout Europe. At the same time, very few of these multilingual parents dare bring a foreign language to their children without the help of a professional teacher. This can be easily explained as most parents have not been trained either as teachers in general or language professionals in particular. Moreover, at the present pace of change, many parents merely lack any extra time they can dedicate to their children. Thus, when choosing between the general development of children and introducing a foreign language, the former is normally given preference. This project will develop a set of support materials that will help parents acquire skills necessary for introducing a foreign language to their children aged 4-6 along with their general development. The materials will require neither professional pedagogical nor linguistic education from the parents. The support materials will aim at helping parents transfer any situation into a learning activity. Thus, parents will be provided with tools for integrating learning in real life activities they engage in with children. As a result, no "extra" time for learning will be required. The support materials will be created for 7 languages (EN, GER, FR, IT, LV, RU and Dutch), piloted in at least 3 countries and published as a CD and online. The methodology of the project is based on the findings of the activity theory (Leont'ev, Galperin, Engeström), especially when organising learning in real life situations. The ideas of the Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning are used for integrating language learning with the development of creativity and thinking skills of children. The consortium consists of 9 institutions from 6 Member States: LV, NL, DE, UK, IT and ES. It also involves 3 associative partners: European Parents Association, Ministry of Education in Brandenburg and Turkish Lifelong Learning Centre.
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