The objective of ARTinLANs is to develop a teaching methodology that incorporate art in foreign language courses in primary school and establish an international teacher network that exchange experiences and inspire to try several art-activities in the classes. Hereby, ARTinLAN aims to increase young pupils’ motivation to learn foreign languages through art forms such as dance, music, painting, theater etc.
Through creative learning, ARTinLAN wants to develop the attitude that foreign language learning is fun and introduce a learning methodology that includes all pupils in the classroom, also those who normally may find language learning difficult for instance: refugees, immigrants and pupils with dyslexia. Studies show that positive experiences with foreign language learning from an early age increases pupils’ motivation to learn more than one language, which sustain through adolescence (Artsed 2009, Saunders, C. M. 1998, Robinson, D. W. 1992, Genesee, Cloud, F. and N. 1998).
The primary target group is foreign language and art teachers, who teach pupils in primary school. Five teachers from each country will participate (30 in all). The secondary target group is their pupils aged 6-11, who either are learning a foreign language in their country of origin or are learning a foreign language and the national language of their host country.
The concrete outputs
Develop ARTinLAN activities:
Based on an initial survey that determine the pupils' specific needs, ARTinLAN will develop activities engaging a particular art form in each class i.e. dance, theatre, music etc.
Develop a Global Virtual Village platform
The Global Virtual Village will serve as an online platform, where the teachers can exchange their experiences of implementing the ARTinLAN activities into their foreing language classes. It will also be the platform for the Online Event, where the pupils will share their end products of the ARTinLAN activities, which will be exhibited on the platform afterwards.
Formulate a ARTinLAN methodology
Based on the teachers and pupils user and learning experiences of the ARTinLAN activities and the Global Virtual Village, the ARTinLAN methodology and good practice will be written.
International exchange and network
At the end of the project, the teachers would have experimented on incorporating creative learning into their foreign language teaching. They would have cooperated with the local art teachers and also developed an international network with whom they can exchange experiences and good practices on the online platform “The Global Virtual Village”. The pupils would have tried new learning activities and they have established an European network among pupils during the Online Event, where they have shown each other what they have learned. The ARTinLAN methodology that has been created during the project will be accessible on the Global Virtual Village, which is an open platform. This will enable external teachers to access and take part in the network and ARTinLAN activities in the future.
Artistic methods for language teaching
The project will endeavour to incorporate creative learning in foreign language courses to increase young pupils’ motivation to learn and advance in foreign languages. Creative Learning has many connotations. Within the project, it is defined it as a way of learning through creative ‘doings’, here especially art (L. Tanggaard 2014).
Art and language teachers will be encouraged to work together and through arts (e.g., dance, music, drawing, film, theater etc.), they will inspire young pupils to take an interest in languages as they discover that language learning is fun.
By incorporating art in language learning, the project will be able to embrace all pupils in the classroom, also the disadvantaged pupils such as migrants, refugees, dyslexic pupils, and those suffering from ADHD, who might find it difficult to stay focused during formal teaching, and overcome learning yet another language. Studies show that a positive experience with foreign language courses at an early age increases pupils’ motivation for learning more than one language (Artsed 2009).
Ultimately, these language skills will strengthen their competitiveness on the labour market later on in life, where there is a great need for multilingual employees (EU language for growth and jobs, UFM November 2017).
The need for learning languages
The Barcelona European Council meeting in 2002, called for action ‘to improve the mastery of basic skills, in particular by teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age’ (EU mother-tongue- plus- two-strategy). The number of pupils who know more than one foreign language has increased (Data Eurostat 2017).
However, in primary schools, the language courses focus on English, and few pupils are taught another foreign language (Data Eurostat 2017, Key data 2008). Moreover, most of the teachers are generalists who are not specialized in foreign language teaching (Ibid.). While 59% of the pupils in secondary schools across Europe know more than two foreign languages, the percentage has decreased over the last couple of years in countries such as DK, UK, SE and CZ (Data Eurostat 2017).