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springboard Springboard... to languages is a flexible, one- to four-year programme which offers a unique introduction to foreign languages through the simple, regular, international language Esperanto. It's an ideal preparation for learning other languages and helps transition to KS3; it lends itself to cross-curricular activities and to KS2 Literacy and Numeracy work, and is particularly suitable for the non-specialist teacher of foreign languages in primary schools.

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Springboard: a unique introduction to foreign languages

Springboard is a unique introduction to foreign languages for all pupils at Key Stage 2.

By using the international language Esperanto as a springboard, the project aims to:

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Why Esperanto?

learning the recorder Many schools used to teach children the recorder, not to produce a nation of recorder players, but as a preparation for learning other instruments.

Springboard uses Esperanto, not to produce a nation of Esperanto-speakers, but as a preparation for learning other languages.

The strategy and benefits of this approach are summarised on the page Springboard and the National Languages Strategy.

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International contacts - different cultures and lifestyles

Esperanto is used in some 90 countries around the world and is perfect for learning about other cultures and lifestyles.

Esperanto is uniquely placed in the world of languages, having speakers and contacts around the globe. The links can provide contacts with classes and schools from many different countries.

Because Esperanto is easier to learn than national languages, students can start to use it sooner for real dialogue and correspondence.

And - because Esperanto doesn't belong to any one nation or country - the speakers on each side of the dialogue will see each other as equals.

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Pilot Schools - a new approach

the pilot All Pilot Schools will be provided with free teaching packs. An introductory pack includes:

Twilight and weekend INSET training, classroom teaching and support will be available from a qualified teacher and competent Esperanto-speaker.

Mil Unuaj Vortoj Urso Kurso Kantoj stickers Unuigxintaj nacioj - venu kun mi Mini-D

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It's been done before! - previous experiments

It's been done before! Esperanto has been successfully used as a springboard to other languages for more than 80 years.

"Numerous studies since the 1920s have confirmed that learning Esperanto improves the motivation of learners (because of their relatively rapid progress in the language) and improves subsequent learning of other languages. The first documented experiment was in England - Bishop Auckland, 1918-21; later studies, each concentrating on different aspects of the question, but coming to broadly similar conclusions, have been conducted in New Zealand (1924), New York (1931), Manchester (1948-'65), Sheffield (1951), Finland (1963), Hungary (1970), Germany (1980), 5 European countries (1990), Italy (1993) and Australia (2000). The 1931 work was by a team led by the eminent educational psychologist, Edward Thorndike of Columbia University. The plain facts are that young people enjoy learning Esperanto; they learn it up to 5 times more quickly than other languages and the skills learned are readily transferable."

David Kelso - a former HM Chief Inspector of Schools,
Trustee and Director for Education of Esperanto-UK

You can download a short paper summarising these studies, and read the report of a previous study in Australia.


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Teaching Guidelines - introducing Springboard

Detailed Teaching Guidelines are now being prepared. These will include suggestions on using and implementing Springboard and on raising language awareness. More documents will be added to the list below as they become available.

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Here are several posters about Springboard2Languages. They are available in A1 size. Please get in touch if you would be interested in having one in your classroom.