Multilingualism Accelerator – an Erasmus+ project for fostering multilingualism

The Multilingualism Accelerator is a curriculum which enables children to learn foreign languages faster and to become more confident in their language-learning abilities. It was based on the propaedeutic idea, i.e. that learning a model language, in this case basic Esperanto, if it is limited to the 300 most frequently-used morphemes, can boost children’s language learning skills. Several studies have shown that learning the model language Esperanto for one year may increase the speed of subsequent language learning by up to 30%. The reason is that such a model language is very easy, has no exceptions and functions logically. It enables children to easily understand the underlying linguistic principles by taking apart and rebuilding words and sentences. It is thus far more effective in motivating students than other languages which are burdened by many exceptions to the rules. With Esperanto and the Multilingualism Accelerator, children learn by autonomously constructing their own sentences.

What is the multilingualism accelerator and who is it for?

Through this course, children playfully learn the basics of an analytical language, and this gives them a clear understanding of how languages are organized. The children will come to understand the two basic cases (nominative and accusative), grammatical terms such as plural, as well as building confidence in sentence construction. Furthermore, the children will acquire the ability to create many new words from the basic roots and affixes which are present in every language. This gives learners a clear view of the structure of languages in general, known as meta-linguistic knowledge.

The Multilingualism Accelerator educational materials have been tested in three European schools (in Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria) by teachers with no prior knowledge of Esperanto. All of the materials were designed for language teachers who have not previously learnt Esperanto, and the materials are thus equipped with grammar sections and detailed guidelines to help teachers prepare for the class. The results of our year-long courses are very encouraging. As hoped and predicted, children have gained knowledge of the Esperanto language, and have also shown substantial improvements in their metalinguistic skills in comparison with a control group. Most importantly, the experience has been very positive for everybody involved and the children would like to continue learning languages.



This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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