Together with Silicon Valley startup TA-DA! students of the HPI D-School have developed a tool to help bilingual children learn languages. The tool is especially useful for families where one or both of the parents do not speak the language the child is learning or wants to learn - both in ease of accessibility in their daily lives, but also multi-sensory, tactile and playful so kids enjoy living the experience.
Michelle Glorieux, CEO and founder of TA-DA! says, “It’s a tremendous privilege to have been chosen by the HPI D-School.”
Dr. Claudia Nicolai, Academic Director of HPI D-School, added, "We value, support and are extremely enthusiastic to work alongside TA-DA! in bringing innovative solutions to what we see as a 21st century peacekeeping mission. Language learning offers a great opportunity for students to immerse themselves in others’ worlds and foster empathy and understanding across economic, social and political divides. We need a more dynamic approach to learning languages and cultures in our rapidly changing, increasingly interconnected, contemporary world."
Not only has the Covid Pandemic brought the frequency with which our youngest kids live online to whole new levels of excessive, but it’s made even more evident how important it is that we learn to respect and understand the different ways we think, talk and live around the world if humans are to truly learn to work together to solve the growing complexity of our shared, world problems.
The CEO of TA-DA! also noted that many parents long for more tools to enable their children to grow up bilingual. However, this is often not as easily possible, as the lack of age-appropriate aids, for example, stand in the way of progress.
The irony is that the time we are told as parents to limit passive screen exposure also happens to be the time that is best – and easiest – for language acquisition. And yet just about every resource that exists for parents lives behind a screen (TV/apps).
CEO Glorieux notes, "Screen-based apps and television in the target language can be a tremendous ally, especially for the language my son needs that I myself do not know; but like all things in life, it is about balance. We at TA-DA! are committed to bringing more resources that allow kids to experience any new language as closely as possible to their first - no matter what language their parents or teachers may or may not speak. Our talking book collections were our first offering. Now taking that to the next level” and creating yet another alongside the HPI D-School is a dream come true. ”
The primary objective of the partnership is to develop a device that imparts both world language, culture and music – in a way which kids are actually enthusiastic to interact.
Other key aims include multi-language offerings, storytelling devised from books and dictionaries from the TA-DA! Talking book library, as well as the capability of real kids creating the device’s content, allowing them to share ‘directly’ their worlds, dreams, fears, anecdotes – and culture with other kids all over the world.