Onderzoek & Ontwikkeling


Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action

SPEAK AND LEARN (2012 - 2014)

With the support of the Lifelong Learning programme of the European Union

"Speak and Learn" Language Course for Exchange Students
(17 Languages of the EU Member-States on Mobile devices)

Thanks to the Erasmus, Leonardo and Comenius programmes, mobility of young Europeans is increasing. However, it very often happens that students have difficulties adapting to a new country because they do not speak the local language. Moreover, they have communication problems arising from the fact that English, German or French, which are usually taught as the second language at schools, are not spoken by the people of all EU Member States.

Therefore, it is very useful for participants of these programmes to have basic knowledge of the language of the country they are travelling to. Getting familiar with the main pronunciation rules and the most typical sentences necessary in communication is already very helpful. The project “Speak and Learn” will develop a multi-language interactive audio-visual product. This “survival kit” will be created on the basis of the languages of the countries covered by Erasmus, Leonardo and Comenius and will enable European youngsters to learn the necessary language at level A1 and, if possible, will introduce them to level A2.  The main idea of the product is to learn to survive in basic communicative situations in a foreign language, not through a third language, i.e. English, but by means of the mother tongue. This language survival kit is meant to assist the student when confronted with the communicative situations associated with their arrival in the host country (airport/train station, finding the way to shops, school buildings...).

The main pedagogical strategy in creating the product is the situational teaching of foreign languages, immediate immersion in speech. Furthermore, the number of explanations in the product is reduced to a minimum.

The project will create a product based on three of the most popular platforms – iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Therefore it will run on tablets and smartphones, which are very popular among young people. Another advantage of the product is that it does not require a permanent internet connection. Moreover, consumers have their devices with them wherever they go. The impact envisaged will help young people in adapting  to the country to which they travel within the Erasmus, Leonardo or Comenius programmes. Multi-linguistic products will pedagogically enrich the language-learning methodology by using the newest mobile devices.



01/11/2012 - 31/10/2014


Prof. Martine Verjans E: | T: +32 11 268686