The SHAIEX Project: Principles and Practice for Multimedia Foreign Language Learning in Pre-school

Patricia Edwards, Mercedes Rico, Alejandro Curado, Juan Enrique Agudo, María Antonia Pain, Héctor Sánchez

Abstract

Foreign language learning at the pre-school level is a pressing reality in Europe's crosscultural curricula. Along with competency demands, developed by European Union commissions and the various Boards of Education of individual member-states, revolutionary multimedia tools are being implemented in early age bands such as for 3-5 year olds. However, little research has been done thus far for this very young age group of language learners. Without a doubt, careful consideration is to be taken regarding both the psychological and physical capacities in this tender age bracket, far different from those of adolescents and adults. For this reason, the SHAIEX project developed by the GexCALL research group at the University of Extremadura in Spain, attempts to properly address this particular target group by providing innovative
adaptation to adequately suit their needs in the foreign language learning and acquisition environment of new technologies. Pedagogical principles are respected in customizing a highly visual and simplistic adaptive design, placing an emphasis on oral/aural language learning skills, highlighting creative cognition for motivational purposes, and, supplying ample psycho-motor interaction for physical control in mastering dexterity with multimedia tools. Plenty of practice is provided in linguistic content as determined by legislative guidelines by means of a three tier system with presentation, interaction, evaluation and reinforcement functional activity blocks. It seems safe to claim that the proper design of multimedia tasks for pre-school children adapted to the youngster's level of knowledge, interests and interaction skills is a
potential guarantee that success can be obtained.


Keywords

pre-school FL learners; adaptive hypermedia system

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References

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