Multilingualism is a central EU priority; the AlphaEU project contributes to the further development of this essential educational area by promoting Early Language Learning (ELL) through the development and implementation of ELL practices in a systematic and organised way. The project builds upon theoretical underpinnings that are associated with the way young children become aware about and begin to learn new languages. Research shows that young children learn languages in intuitive ways, such as creative exploration stimulated by curiosity. The younger the children are when they are exposed to different languages, the greater their ability to develop a feeling for the rhythm, phonology, and intonation of these languages. The AlphaEu material is intended to be used mainly within the existing model of “Language Awareness-raising or Exposure”: the central aim is “to develop the perception and recognition of different sounds and concepts of one or more languages and the ability to understand and reproduce them in an interactive way” (EC, 2011).
The general objective of the AlphaEU project is to promote the acquisition of multilingual awareness and language skills of pre-schoolers in various European countries, by developing, piloting, and implementing digital alphabet books and alphabet-related games and interactive activities. Targeted alphabets/languages include: English, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.