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 than other languages, burdened by many exceptions to rules, in motivating students. They 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 clear ideas about how languages are organized. The children understand grammatical terms such as plural, the two basic cases (nominative and accusative), how to create sentences, and acquire the ability to create many new words from the basic roots and affixes present in every language. This gives learners a clear view of the structure of languages in general, known as meta-linguistic knowledge.
The materials have been tested in three European schools (in Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria) with teachers with no prior knowledge of Esperanto. All materials are developed with language teachers in mind, who have not learned Esperanto before and the materials are thus equipped with grammar sections and detailed guidelines to help teachers prepare for the class. The results of our one year long courses are very encouraging. Children have gained the foreseen language knowledge in Esperanto and also showed improved metalinguistic skills, compared to a control group. And what is most important, for all involved the experience has been very positive and children would like to continue learning languages.
- Izvori d.o.o. (Croatia) → www.izvori.com
- Inter-kulturo d.o.o. (Slovenia) → www.inter-kulturo.si
- Univerza v Mariboru (Slovenia) → www.um.si
- Studio Gaus GmbH (Germany) → www.studiogaus.com
- Sredno uchilishte Hristo Botev (Bulgaria) → www.hristobotev.org
- Osnovna škola Retkovec (Croatia) → www.os-retkovec-zg.skole.hr
- OŠ Rudolfa Maistra, Šentilj (Slovenia) → www.ossentilj.si
- Edukácia@Internet (Slovakia) → www.ikso.net
- Syddansk Universitet (Denmark) → www.sdu.dk
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.