INCA PROJECT INFORMATION

Objectives


INCA - Intercultural Calendar for Early Multilingual Learning aims to develop innovative materials for teaching languages to pre-primary and primary learners (ages 5 to 7), to motivate early learners to foreign language learning and to improve intercultural understanding and multilingual comprehension. The project aims to introduce early learners from seven participating countries (EL, FR, ES, UK, DE, EE, CZ) to seven languages (EL, FR, ES, EN, DE, ET, CZ) originating from five different language groups (Greek, Romance, Germanic, Slavic and Uralic language groups).

a) Our project aims to promote early language learning to primary and pre-primary learners and at the same time help to develop the multilingual potential of every child by activating the language acquisition mechanisms that young children still possess. In order to take advantage of the child’s early age, we have to provide a supportive environment and continuity from one year to the next. That means that our learning method (levels 0-1) will give emphasis on covering the existing gap among pre-primary and primary language education, of course taking into serious consideration the national education systems of the countries involved.

b) Our objective is to provide multilingual education to our target groups. Therefore, we have selected as target languages seven EC official languages that origin from five completely different language groups, aiming to give the option to our learners to select a language that belongs to a completely different language group from theirs. The learners will have the benefit of understanding the diversity of human cultures, identifying similarities and differences and developing underlying qualities such as meta-linguistic awareness and intercultural sensitivity.

c) The target countries that will have access to our learning method have in total very low language skills according to the Eurobarometer, Feb.2006. In UK, ES, FR, EL, CZ, DE a large percentage of the population indicates that they do not know any foreign languages. In EE, 66% of the population speaks Russian, and 46% speaks English, but they have very low language skills in other languages. Our project will try to motivate the learners from these countries to multilingual comprehension and to enhance their capacity in language learning.

d) Our project’s other main objective is to develop an innovative learning method that is based on the “cooperation of cultures” and the interaction between education and culture. By developing an interactive intercultural Calendar for language learning, we give children the opportunity to understand some differences among people that are result of their culture, to compare family customs and traditions among cultures, to discuss with teachers different cultures and human patterns of places and regions during their language lesson. In this way, we create a motivating language environment that gives children opportunities to investigate a real event or object and at the same time strengthen emerging listening, speaking and writing skills and acquire new words, as they share their findings with others.

e) Our project uses ICT and specifically multimedia techniques, 3D graphics etc. aiming to allow educators to capture the attention of students through interactive instructional activities. Using technology is a motivational way for the students to interact with the subject area over and over again in unique and exiting ways and helps to enhance and increase learning potential.

f) Our project aims to disseminate our project not only to the participating countries but across Europe.