THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The board of the cross border cooperation Region South Jutland-Schleswig adopted in 2004 a language resolution aimed to promote awareness of the neighboring languages Danish and German among children and adults. The Region Office got the task to come up with initiatives for activities that could increase the interest for the two languages in the border region. These activities were entitled "Language Campaign for Region South Jutland-Schleswig". Anne-Mette Olsen at the Regional Office made a catalog of proposals which the Danish-German Committee for Cultural Contact and Cooperation in Region South Jutland-Schleswig decided to support.
The project Prof. dr. ABC was one of the first projects of the language campaign. The project emerged into a collaboration between diploma pedagogue Claus Sax Hinrichs, cultural advisor Ulla Jensen and Anne-Mette Olsen at the Region Office. Over the years the project has been developed and includes now also teaching material for schools. The teaching material was made by Danish students from Flensburg University as part of a seminar by Professor Elin Fredsted and thereafter edited by Anne-Mette Olsen and Janne Rösler from Flensburg University.
The goal of the project has always been to make preschool children from Region South Jutland-Schleswig interested in neighboring languages Danish and German. The project wants to show that it can be fun to learn another language, and that it does not have to be difficult because there are so many similarities between Danish and German. The project emphasis the importance to pique children's curiosity and give them a number of successful experiences with the learning of the neighboring language.
Professor dr. ABC is a confused language researcher who pretends to need help from the children to learn about Danish and German. The participating children get involved as young assisting researchers to help the forgetful Professor dr. ABC.
The project has not only the children as a target group but also the participating pedagogues and teachers, who can experience that the project gives them inspiration to work with languages. There has been much effort in the preparation of the different parts of the project to make it easy to use for pedagogues and teachers, and the project contributes to improve young learners´ language skills as stated in the national educational goals.
We did a lot to ensure that the project should be easy to handle and that it should be an enrichment and not a burden to the participating pedagogues and teachers In addition to making children curious of their neighboring language, the project also aims to raise awareness of language structure and improve their knowledge about the culture and history of their neighbor country.
We wanted to make a project where kids have fun and that make them think that it´s easy to learn the neighboring language. The project wants to give the children many success experiences. It is furthermore an aim that the kids learn something that they can show to their parents, sing a song for them, for example.
Pedagogues and teachers have been invited to evaluate and to further develop the project. The cooperation with the University of Flensburg on produce teaching material has also been crucial for the development of the project and has contributed to the appointment of the ELL since the project in this way has produced teaching material that can be used by institutions other than those directly involved in the project.
The project has been continuously evaluated by the participating institutions, for example at actual evaluation meetings, in the form of questionnaires and as part of two undergraduate projects.
It has been a pleasure to work with the Prof. dr. ABC project because there has been so much posititve feedback from children, parents, pedagogues and teachers. We experience that institutions that already have participated in the project, want to take part again.
Alongside the project teaching materials, a picture dictionary and a songbook, have been produced. They have become popular far beyond expectations.
The project has also involved the children's parents and siblings. It has been a success criterion for us that parents report that the children are happy with the project and talk about it at home. So we hope that the parents of the participating children also realize that it's not so hard to learn the neighboring language - and that it pays.
We were encouraged to apply for the award.
Actually the school part of the project did not really got going until we received the ELL, and since then there have been several tours of Professor dr. ABC in the preschools of the region. The project is going on very much thanks to Claus Sax Hinrich´s great effort as Professor dr. ABC and the continuing development of different parts of the project.
The ELL Award was an important quality label. It helps to get new participants, get funding for continuation and put Region South Jutland-Schleswig on the European map.
It is important to involve institutions in the region to reassure the project as a regional project.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The project Professor dr. ABC was chosen because its consistency with the European criteria in the field of cross border activities, in this case in the region of the borderline between Denmark and Germany. The project is original and creative and it certainly improves the children´s language knowledge and gives them a number of success experiences while learning the neighboring language. The project is transferable in many ways since it involves pedagogues and teachers, who can experience that the project gives them inspiration to work with languages. There has been much effort when producing teaching material to make it easy to use for pedagogues and teachers.
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
The project Proffesor Dr ABC receives the ELL-award because it in an innovative way stimulates Danish and German young children living close to the border between Denmark and Garmany to learn the neighboring language.
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