EU Language Label 2012 winner

The French Digital Kitchen, based in iLab:Learn in ECLS has won a EU Language Label for 2012. The award recognises good language education initiatives and spreads good practice across Europe.  This year the judges looked specifically for innovation and sustainability aspects that went beyond merely demonstrating good practice.

Funded by the EPSRC, the French Digital kitchen project involved developing a kitchen which communicates with pairs of learners in French, giving them step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a French dish. The project was led by Professor Paul Seedhouse (ECLS) and Professor Patrick Olivier (Computing Science), together with a team of researchers working across the two schools.

The judging panel were particularly interested in the engagement work of the French Digital Kitchen project and its commitment to the societal impact of the materials development which continues to take place beyond the lifetime of the funding period.

The overall practical aim was to produce a technologically-enhanced language learning environment to support people in learning aspects of French whilst performing an enjoyable real-world task. This involved taking a normal kitchen and adapting it using digital technology so that it could to communicate with people in French and give them step-by-step instructions according to their own rhythm on how to prepare a French dish. 

Motivations for the project were to explore how digital technology could be used to address issues such as bringing culture to life in the classroom, increasing motivation and developing cross-curricular approaches to language learning.

The kitchen will now be expanded during a 3 year long research project entitled LanCook, which is short for ‘Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digital interactive kitchens. That EU-funded project involves developing materials for five other additional European languages, including lesser known languages such as Finnish and Catalan.

The award will be presented at the EU Language Label Award Ceremony on 26th September (also the European day of languages) at the European Commission in central London.
More about the EU language Label:

Dr Anne Preston
Research Fellow

published on: 8th June 2012