Enhancing the language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) of boys aged 10-14 years old through the use of gamified mobile learning environments in formal education settings.
Research in the field showed that on average, young girls acquire language faster than young boys as they are ahead in using communication gestures and combining words in the early stages (Eriksson et al., 2012). This gap is noticeable throughout the school years with the girls having better language abilities including vocabulary, mean length of utterance, sentence complexity, language expression and comprehension, storytelling ability and metalinguistic awareness (Marjanovič-Umek & Fekonja-Peklaj, 2017).
The European Institute for Gender Equality also discusses the underrepresentation of male in Language professions as they are significantly more likely to expect to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics occupations. Despite biological and other developmental differences, both social environment’s beliefs and well-established gender stereotypes distance boys from the field as boys continue to prefer practical subjects (e.g. Mathematics, Technology, Physics) rather than theoretical ones (e.g. Language, History), regardless if they perform better or not (Zacharia et al., 2020).
Therefore, BoysLingo will propose a comprehensive language teaching and learning approach for primary and secondary education to ensure that learners (with a focus on boys) achieve adequate language competence levels by the end of compulsory education through the purposeful use of digital technologies in education and language learning to reduce the gender gap in the Language field by creating inclusive gamified environments to elevate boys’ language experiences.
- Encourage and motivate boys to be engaged in Language Learning activities (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening) in their education;
- Build the capacity of educators, school leaders, and school staff in organizing and implementing language learning activities in the classroom with the use of digital tools, such as a gamified mobile learning environment;
- Engage teachers in the development process of the learning scenarios and activities in order to acquire the knowledge and competences required to support students during the learning process;
- Develop innovative quality learning material and digital resources for Language learning in primary and secondary education.
- Identification of each partner country’s needs and good practices for encouraging boys in language learning activities and how mobile learning would support their learning experiences through gamified environments
- Design and development of the BoysLingo Handbook, aimed at supporting teachers and school leaders and other relevant stakeholders to gain the necessary knowledge to successfully engage students in language learning for improving their language skills and benefit from applying gamified learning environments in education;
- Engage teachers in the development process of 40 gamified learning scenarios aimed at improving primary and secondary boys’ basic language skills (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking);
- Design and development of a mobile application to host the learning scenarios and testing and validation of the mobile application in the classroom;
- Design and development of learning modules for the teacher training curricula in the topics of language development and mobile learning;
- Design and development of the BoysLingo e-learning platform that will host the teacher training curricula and testing and validation of the BoysLingo teacher training curricula with teachers.
- BoysLingo Handbook: with information on the benefits of gamified learning environments in education and a collection of best practices (e.g. apps, other projects, a specific methodology) relevant to the improvement of boys’ language skills;
- A gamified mobile learning environment: hosting learning scenarios for teachers to use and implement in their teaching with students (gender-specific approach) in language related subjects. This application will also be used during the implementations of the project and will be available for the general public and all interested parties to use and adapt;
- A teachers’ training course: with practices and activities on how to integrate mobile learning, and promote language learning among boys.
- At least 1000 students and 120 teachers participated in the BoysLingo implementation activities;
- 150 participants attended the 5 BoysLingo dissemination events;
- More than 10,000 stakeholders informed about Language learning and gender challenges;
- Increased motivation of boys to be engaged in Language Learning activities;
- Improved the capacity of educators to implement language learning activities in the classroom with the use of digital tools.
- Improved teachers’ knowledge and competences in supporting students during the learning process through their engagements in the development process of the learning scenarios;