Bringing very young children into contact with foreign languages may result in faster language learning, improved mother tongue skills and better performance in other areas. That is why EU education ministers support the teaching of at least two foreign languages from a very early age.
Language learning is a natural aspect that can be enhanced by the activation of a life-long process starting at an early age. However the teaching of a second language in pre-primary schools has not been popular in Europe. Step by step is becoming more important but the most of the teachers are not trained, they do not have resources or ideas for working with the children in the second language and they do not have the language skills for teaching the second language. It is at this age (0-6 years and specially 0-3 years) when the children have all the capacities for learning a second language. So that is the reason why we want to encourage and train the preschools in Europe (no matter if they are in small villages or big cities) by giving them tools and resources that they can use with the children and with the parents.
Another important thing that the consortium has discovered is the fact that the children get better results when the families are involved in the teaching or when they support the second language acquisition of the children. That is why it is important to involve the families in the teaching of the second language, even if they do not speak that language. And this is one of the main objectives of the projects, promote the collaboration between teachers and parents for getting better results.
Here is where TIC´s can a be a great help and tablets a great resource for teachers and parents. Researchers / teachers should find appropriate apps for the age of the children (for learning a second language) and share them with the parents for working toguether in the bilingual education of the children. After choosing the recommended Apps teachers will use the tablets in the classroom for testing them and see if they are suitable for the children and for parents. New technologies can be a great resource for that parents who do not speak
the second languguage but they want to help their children learning that second language. It can be a nice way for playing with the children in the second language while they have fun and revise what they learnt in the school or what the will learn in the school (flipped clasrrom). This tablet will be used for researching and implementation/explotation of IO2. So all partners should have it before March 2020 and during the project will be used only for this purpose. The parents at home can use tablets or phones.
There is, however, another aspect besides this multilingual face of Europe. Children with a migration and ethnic background often have problems in both their first and second language. Educators in pre-school, and subsequently in school, often have difficulties providing the necessary educational assistance. They argue that, in order to provide these children with the best possible conditions for learning in school, the curriculum should include supportive material and that the fostering of language acquisition should start at the earliest possible age. Otherwise these children will start their school careers from a disadvantaged position and these unfavourable conditions will accompany them during their entire school life if they do not learn the language at an early age.