How can young children be motivated to learn languages that are not part of their daily life, when English seems to be the most popular option? How can parents and carers be involved in the learning of these languages both inside and outside of school?
These questions are addressed in the ELENA project. The ELENA project aims to create a motivating environment for the learning teaching and learning of the neighbouring languages Dutch, French and German. ELENA is not only the name of the project, but also the name of the central character. Elena takes children aged between 4 and 8 years old on an adventure, introducing them to their neighbouring languages through various themes that relate to the child’s world and experiences, such as family and school. ELENA goes also mobile, connecting children through their mobile phone to neighbouring languages in a real world context in an interactive and playful way. The game "Elena goes shopping", for example, directs and guides the players to go shopping for ingredients to make Dutch pancakes.
For more information, visit the ELENA website.