TA Group was the coordinator of an international project Parents as Successful teacherS (PASS) supported by the European Commission in the framework the Lifelong Learning Programme. The project was carried out from 1 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012. The outcomes are available at the PASS project website.

Project Summary

Parents speaking at least one foreign language are becoming more and more natural throughout Europe. At the same time, very few of these multilingual parents dare bring a foreign language to their children without the help of a professional teacher. This can be easily explained as most parents have not been trained either as teachers in general or language professionals in particular. Moreover, at the present pace of change, many parents merely lack any extra time they can dedicate to their children. Thus, when choosing between the general development of children and introducing a foreign language, the former is normally given preference.

This project will develop a set of support materials that will help parents acquire skills necessary for introducing a foreign language to their children aged 4-6 along with their general development. The materials will require neither professional pedagogical nor linguistic education from the parents. The support materials will aim at helping parents transfer any situation into a learning activity. Thus, parents will be provided with tools for integrating learning in real life activities they engage in with children. As a result, no “extra” time for learning will be required.

The support materials will be created for 7 languages (EN, GER, FR, IT, LV, RU and Dutch), piloted in at least 3 countries and published as a CD and online. The methodology of the project is based on the findings of the activity theory (Leont'ev, Galperin, Engeström), especially when organising learning in real life situations. The ideas of the Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning are used for integrating language learning with the development of creativity and thinking skills of children. The consortium consists of 9 institutions from 6 Member States: LV, NL, DE, UK, IT and ES. It also involves 3 associative partners: European Parents Association, Ministry of Education in Brandenburg and Turkish Lifelong Learning Centre.


to enhance Early Language education and family learning by providing multilingual parents with the tools for introducing a foreign language to their 4-6 year-old children alongside with the development of children’s creativity and thinking skills through daily activities.


  • 5 different sets of support materials for parents to introduce project target languages, namely, ENG, FR, GER, IT, RU, LV, Dutch to their 4-6 year-old children in the context of everyday situations;
  • A website providing the most up-to-date version of the support materials, as well as serving as an experience exchange platform for parents;
  • Dissemination campaign encouraging multilingual parents to take an active part in Early Language Education of their children.

The project proposes the following steps to help the parents become key players in Early Language Education of their children:

  • Provide parents with “learning-to-teach-by-teaching” materials, thus training them to be successful teachers in the process of actual work with the proposed materials. This corresponds to 'learning-by-doing' principle of the informal education and helps parents learn even when no 'extra' time for learning is available (which is the situation for more and more European parents nowadays)
  • Equip parents with the tools to integrate foreign language learning into everyday activities of their families. Thus, learning becomes a natural thing rather than something artificial both parents and children are trying to avoid.
  • Help parents integrate a foreign language in the process of general development of their children, thus using already existing motivation of most parents to contribute to the development of flexibility and creativity of children’s minds.


Easy-to-use guide for parents
The guide will ensure that the parents perform the necessary steps to transform a usual every day activity into a learning activity for their children. It is expected that the parents will internalise the steps as a result of the regular use of the guide, however it is essential to make them explicit in the beginning as the target audience are the parents who have no pedagogical education. The Guide will be maximum one page long to ensure that the parents actually read it.

Illustration module for the guide
The illustration module will give more specific details on applying one page long guide to transforming an every-day situation to a learning activity for children. The illustration module will be available at least for five everyday situations typical in most European families (eating, going by car etc.). Parents will be able to refer to it either before organising a learning activity or retrospectively to reflect on the process and results. Target audience: parents of children aged 4-6

Scripts of possible learning activities
Although the actual learning dialogues between parents and children may differ quite significantly, many parents would still like to have an example. The role of an example will be performed by scripts developed for each of everyday situation to illustrate how the general steps from the easy-to-use guide and specific steps from the illustration module can be manifested in a specific dialogue between a parent and a child. Target audience: parents who prefer to have an example when learning

Visual support for learning activities
Visual things are extremely important not only for design purposes but for attracting children to learning. A set of characters will be developed to help parents organise learning activities. Characters will also perform useful pedagogical functions, such as a source of a foreign language input, a problem solver, an idea generator, etc. Characters will 'travel' from one learning activity to another to create a system effect.

Language banks
As most parents for whom materials are developed are not native speakers of the target language, it is essential that a language bank is created for each learning activity to be introduced. It will include specific vocabulary and examples of its use in the context of an everyday situation a specific material deals with. Target audience: parents of children aged 4-6 who are not native speakers of the target language. Target audience: children aged 4-6

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio