About the project

As in most European countries, first and second foreign languages are now also introduced earlier in the Nordic/Baltic countries. Research is inconclusive of the effect of this policy, but there is a general agreement that an earlier start requires highly skilled teachers and that teaching must be carefully planned taking the age of learners into consideration.

So far the Nordic/Baltic countries have gained experiences with earlier foreign language learning and teaching within a national context: in primary schools and teacher education. However, there has not yet been established a Nordic/Baltic educational cooperation to draw benefits from these national experiences and to disseminate them systematically even though we are facing the same challenges: How can we plan earlier foreign language learning/teaching? What kinds of teaching materials are available? How can we best educate teachers and student teachers in earlier language learning/teaching? How can we integrate a plurilingual perspective, taking e.g. migrant languages and the Nordic/Baltic languages into account?

This project aims to take up these questions and to establish educational cooperation between universities, teacher education centres and primary schools in four Nordic/Baltic countries.

The project addresses three thematic areas

  1. Initial and in-service teacher education course modules using new learning and teaching platforms (focus on developing teachers’ competencies)
  2. Innovative teaching materials for Early English, French, German and Spanish (focus on collecting and further developing best practices based on research findings and recommendations)
  3. The plurilingual perspective in early foreign language learning and teaching (focus on how to link early foreign language learning in English, French, German and Spanish to the wider context of plurilingual education)

The general objectives of the project are

  • to create a network of partners, i.e. researchers, teacher educators and primary school teachers, from four Nordic/Baltic countries
  • to further develop early foreign language learning and teaching in the Nordic/Baltic context
  • to pilot a plurilingual education within the context of early foreign language learning and teaching in the Nordic/Baltic context
  • to contribute to the societal discussions on early foreign language learning, language learning in
  • general and language diversity in the Nordic/Baltic countries
  • to disseminate the project results in the Nordic/Baltic context and internationally.