Greetings from Educa!
Moomin Language School took part in the Educa education event in Helsinki on the 27th and 28th of January. On Saturday, early education specialist and doctor of phonetics Minna Toivola talked about digital language learning in early education together with kindergarten teacher Anne Kuvaja. Kuvaja has been organizing Moomin Language School in her kindergarten, Kindergarten Satumetsä, for a year now. The audience was particularly interested in Kuvaja’s experiences with the language learning service, and its effectiveness.
Kuvaja said that the experiences with Moomin Language School have been positive in her kindergarten. The service fits well into the routines and other activities at the kindergarten. The children use the learning application approximately 10 minutes per session. They are motivated to learn, and count the stars in the application eagerly to see how they have succeeded in the exercises.
Parents, too, have been satisfied with the service. According to Kuvaja, parents have been surprised at how fast their children have learned English words; children use the new words and phrases in their play and in various situations.
According to Kuvaja, teachers need not have any special technical knowledge or extensive English skills to run the service; basic knowledge is enough. In her opinion, the playful lessons have been planned so well that organizing them doesn’t require any extra planning time during the already hectic day.
Kuvaja stressed the importance of encouragement during the playful lessons, saying: “Children are encouraged in a positive manner, and adults need to listen carefully, when children venture to say something. Even if what they say is incorrect, we praise them for having the courage to try.” She also mentioned children’s individual uniqueness, saying: “Some start to speak immediately and repeat words when using the learning application, whereas others might stay quiet for a long time or speak only at home.”