LanCook, short for Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digital interactive kitchens, is an innovative project which engages with increasing foreign language proficiency, motivation and the contribution of language skills in the EU. The project does this through a combination of cooking, technology and language learning and involves a committed partnership of language teaching and learning experts and enthusiasts from Finland (University of Helsinki), Germany (University of Paderborn), Italy (The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Spain (Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona) and the UK (Newcastle University).
Beginning in December 2011, LanCook involves the creation and use of multilingual task-based language learning materials for learners to cook dishes linked to 7 European cultures and countries: Catalan, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian and Spanish. LanCook’s materials are developed with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (Key Activity 2: Languages) and use digital sensor technology to promote a genuinely situated language learning experience of a real-world activity. The materials (for use at CEFR levels A to C) are designed to be used with a ‘portable kitchen’ which uses sensor technology to lead learners step by step through the cooking of a dish. Embedded digital sensors are inserted in or attached to all the equipment and ingredients allowing the kitchen to detect and evaluate activity as learners progress through their cooking tasks.
The current activities of the project involve trialling the materials across 5 partner centres with over 250 lifelong learners from adult, higher and vocational education learning contexts as well as immigrants and overseas students. From November 2013, LanCook will be preparing finalised versions of the materials and hosting cooking sessions with a ‘portable kitchen’ at local community and lifelong learning organisations. This will culminate in an International dissemination event to celebrate the European Day of Languages in 2014.
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