THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The shopping centre in the neighbourhood is a place for informal meetings and social interactions of people living around or frequently shopping there. While shopping, they talk to each other and exchange information and opinions about new products and goods.
Nowadays, the customers are more interested in the origin, the content and the producers of the products. That is why they are referring more and more often to the information at the back of the product, which besides in the basic languages, English, German, and French, is very often available in the language of the producer as well as in the official local language. Sometimes, the product description is also given in Dutch, Swedish, Greek, Bulgarian, etc.
The diversity of information in various languages in the shops is a natural way to get people interested in a foreign language and can be a basis for informal language learning.
SHOPLANG uses this environment in order to accommodate 6 less widely used and taught Europeans languages (Bulgarian, Greek, Dutch, Maltese, Lithuanian and Swedish)in the everyday activities of the target group (general public, supermarket customers).
The objectives of SHOPLANG include:
- To promote the advantages of learning foreign languages in general, and of LWUTL in particular.
- To accommodate the target languages in people's everyday activities in the informal environment of the supermarkets
- To develop learning materials and activities for non-formal language learning
- To help people develop some partial skills in understanding basic information in the target languages
- To promote cultural and linguistic diversity
The achievement of the project objectives took place through the following activities:
- Development of language games and activities - related to the theme of shopping and based on the products and labels available in the basic supermarkets
- Implementation of promotional campaigns in the basic supermarkets – 5 campaigns for each target language in the other partner countries based on the language games
- Development of motivation for participation in the language activities – all participants in the language campaigns received prizes provided by sponsors
- Establishment of resource centers –in all partner countries providing additional information about the target languages and countries.
The project progress was evaluated on three main levels – internal partner evaluations; feedback from project beneficiaries; external evaluations. The activities were regularly analysed and improved accordingly. In general, the project was characterised by an external evaluator as an innovative project carried out with creativity and ambition which has ended with outcomes and products of great quality and impact.
Some of the major results during the lifetime of the project include:
- Over 1300 people were directly reached by the project idea in 30 language campaigns and they became aware of Bulgarian, Greek, Maltese, Swedish, Lithuanian and Dutch as well as of the countries those languages are spoken in;
- 10 people signed up for a language courses
- Hundreds of people contacted the project partners and asked for more information about the project and its activities;
- The management of the supermarket ICA Kvantum, Köping, Sweden, expressed interest in importing Bulgarian white cheese;
- IKEA Barendrecht, the Netherlands, expressed interest in purchasing 500 sets of the language card game “Go Shopping!”
- The management of Fantastiko supermarket in Sofia, Bulgaria, expressed interest in hosting such language campaigns also after the end of the project;
- “SHOPLANG – The Shopping Language Game” was featured EU-funded project of December 2007 in Malta;
- The partners created a very good base of materials about the target languages and the partner countries which is available at the specially established resource centres in Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Sweden and the Netherlands;
- The project website www.shoplang.eu has been visited by more than 5000 people and the project partners have received a great number of positive reactions on its content;
- The project attracted the attention of the numerous public and private organizations in the partner countries and as a result the project activities were supported by over 35 sponsors and social partners.
SHOPLANG has repeatedly been recognised as a good practice in the field of language promotion. Having received a very high evaluation at final report stage, the coordinator (KU TU Ltd.) decided to apply for European Language Label in order to disseminate further the project and to be able to put the Label's mark of quality on it's products.
SHOPLANG has been invited to be presented at numerous conferences and event as good practice.
The project was included in a compendium of best practices in the area of language learning from all over Europe.
In 2010 a continuation of the project was approved and launched under the name "SHOPLANG 2.0- The Shopping Language Game".
Some of the SHOPLANG outcomes continue to be used up to now.
SHOPLANG joined other labelled initiatives within the network NELLIP, having the opportunity for creating synergies with other projects and new sustainable partnerships.
It is recommended to other promoters of language project and initiatives to get familiar with the award criteria for the Label, incorporate them in the implementation of their projects and apply for a European Label in their countries. Receiving the award opens new paths for continuation of the projects and sustainability of their results.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
SHOPLANG is in consistency with the current policies in the field of language learning because it is directed towards promoting new approaches to language teaching and learning, promotion of multilingualism as well as promotion of the development of teaching material for the learning of less widely spoken languages.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
"SHOPLANG - The Shopping Language Game" received the European Language Label award in 2008 together with the project "Signs in the City". The decision for selecting 2 projects was based on the evaluation that both of them addressed greatly the published national and European priorities and the field and their applications showed innovation and high-quality results in the area of promotion of less widely used and taught European languages.
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