EAL resources for schools in Ireland

EAL Resources for Schools in Ireland

BABO: Bilingual And Bicultural Outlook

On Friday 16th February, the opening day of the Mother Tongues Festival 2024, we were delighted to host Juan Ruiz Subirán, Director of Baby Erasmus in Tallaght County Library. Juan introduced and presented the Erasmus+ project BABO – Bilingual and Bicultural Outlook which Baby Erasmus and Mother Tongues have been actively developing since 2022 alongside the seven other project partners. These are Munster Technological University (Ireland), the University of Extremadura (Spain), Glow Animation Studio (Spain), SmartMaking (Spain), Super Lexi (Belgium), Tecnologias Imaginadas (Portugal) and La Rueda (Austria).

Mother Tongues Festival - 16-17 February 2024

Juan began discussing the BABO project by acknowledging the project partners mentioned above. He spoke about his and others’ experiences with educators when they hear the words ‘bilingual education’, they immediately develop a sense of fear thinking how can I do that, are there resources and so on. The purpose of the BABO project for Irish schools is to help alleviate these feelings and concerns by creating multiple resources for educators and parents to promote the learning of English as a second language in early years services, school and at home. 

 

The project consists of four Project Results (PR), these include: 

A pedagogical guide

A pedagogical guide consisting of activities that use the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory. Juan mentioned that it was decided to use the MI theory as children can all learn a second language however they have different motivations and ways in which they learn. For example, some children learn through sports, others through arts & crafts, therefore the project wanted to offer different activities depending on the needs of the children. 

Board games

Educational games designed to teach children vocabulary while having fun playing the games!

Educational Cartoons

These consists of 10 episodes with each being around 3 minutes long. The cartoons are connected with the educational games and the activities that are offered in the guide. Juan highlighted that one of the important things for children learning a second language is repetition. If it is something children are interested in they may pick up the vocabulary and language very quickly, if not repetition is a very good way. All of the project results are interconnected to offer this repetition with the hope that the children will pick up the language after hearing the vocabulary in many instances.

Online games

Juan discussed the importance of children feeling that the second language they are learning is not just valued in school but also at home. Children feel proud when their teachers and family both acknowledge the value of learning the language. This is why the application games were designed as they can be played in school and at home by the children and their parents, even if they don’t speak the language at home!

Watch back Juan’s presentation from minute 32:15 

We are currently in the testing phase of the BABO project, and Mother tongues is piloting the various resources with children attending schools in Ireland who are learning English as a second language. Over twenty early years services and primary schools are involved in testing each of the project’s components, providing valuable feedback for further development and improvement. This feedback will help us refine the educational guide, games, cartoons, and app to ensure they effectively support language learning for children in diverse settings. This in turn will provide even better quality resources for the educators and families interested in learning a second language. 
This project is funded by the European Commission, the resources designed are open resources that will be available online in Spanish and English once the project is completed.

The project hopes to offer them in more languages, including Irish one day! 

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