• Sabine Little

Be a Language Ninja

Updated: Jan 27, 2018

Hundreds of members of the general public enjoyed "Researchers' Night", an opportunity to find out about ongoing research across the University. I shared my work with heritage language families, exploring the use of technology, games and apps to support numerous languages in the household. This research was funded by the UK Literacy Association. Especially designed for the event, adults, children and whole families were invited to play the "Language Ninja" app, which engaged players with vocabulary in better and lesser-known languages, ranging from German to Hungarian, Maltese and Thai. The "Top Gear"-style leader board got more and more full as the evening progressed, with the top possible marks achieved by two players. One Mum emailed after the event:

When I got home at 10.30pm my 9 year old was still awake and buzzing about learning Chinese and telling me how your app worked and how many she had got right.  She is normally quite into animals & science so I was really surprised that it had been her favourite activity of the evening!

It was great to speak to teachers, parents and children about their enthusiasm for language learning, as well as concerns they have with regards to education, and keeping multiple languages alive and interesting.