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The Linguacuisine project addresses the future of equality of access and participation in learning linked to two core skills gaps recognised by today’s changing Europe: digital skills and language skills. A collaboration between Newcastle University (UNew, UK), Action Foundation (UK), Hellenic Open University (HOU, Greece), Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE, Italy) and Workers’ Educational Association (WEA, UK), and funded by a €323,886 Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership grant (link), the project will promote learning of digital literacy, languages, cuisines and cultures. It will do this by co-design of downloadable apps and social recipes by means of an authoring tool to develop an online community of practice. We aim for mass adoption of these learning materials with a focus on social inclusion.

Whereas our previous very successful LLP-funded ‘Lancook’ project  produced sensorised digital kitchen equipment, with Linguacuisine will create  free downloadable smartphone and tablet apps (Android and Apple) using an iterative development methodology. These will enable users to be guided through cooking a range of recipes in 6 different European languages. The phone or tablet will speak to the users in the foreign language and offer multimedia help to users in terms of photos and videos. Users will be able to access different levels of help to support their language learning depending on their levels of competence. As no sensors are involved, users will let the phone or tablet know when they are ready to move to the next step.

The main aim is to create a sustainable model for the production and use of multimedia materials for learning languages, cuisines and cultures based on user-generated content in support of a community of practice in those areas. We will take 40 digitally marginalized project participants with little or no digital experience. These will include migrant and refugees. We firstly provide them with digital, transferable and language skills. We will co-design the app and authoring tool with them, thus ensuring that the apps will be usable by most social groups in the EU. Then we enable them to use the authoring tool to author a multimedia social recipe for language learning. ‘Authoring’ here means a) writing an existing cooking recipe onto the system in short, simple stages using the authoring tool b) creating audio files for spoken instructions c) creating photos and videos together with subtitles as help facilities. The ‘authoring tool’ is a software system that allows both technical and non-technical people to programme content for use in the app.

We will disseminate the social recipes through the development of online communities of practice in 6 EU languages which bring people together in sharing and cooking the recipes. Dissemination activities will ensure that people across the EU will share and author social recipes themselves.

Objectives:

To produce a downloadable tablet and smartphone app (android and iphone) which will enable users to be guided through cooking a recipe in 6 official EU languages. Further languages can easily be added using the authoring tool.
To create an online community of practice with access via the apps.Participants will learn aspects of a foreign languages, cuisines and cultures by using the apps.
To develop a certification system for the digital competence which participants develop. The needs addressed are: improving basic skills, specifically digital competence, and engaging digitally marginalized groups (including refugees and migrants) with technology; certifying and assessing levels of digital competence; learning foreign languages, cultures and cuisines.

The rationale for this project is that it creates a motivating way of learning digital skills together with foreign languages, cultures and cuisines, making engaging technology available and accessible to a very wide audience. We develop an inclusive approach to technology design by including users with low levels of digital competence in the design process. The project promotes active EU citizenship and promotes mobility within the EU by familiarizing people with other countries and cultures, engaging with the ‘Languages for social inclusion’ agenda. It promotes integration of migrants and refugees into the host culture. It combines internationalisation of education with digital learning. Anyone anywhere who downloads the app software will be able to write any recipe in any language and submit it for potential inclusion in the range of recipes available to play with the app. They will also be able to gain access to the online community created by the project, which will provide feedback on contributions and exchange of ideas. This should ensure sustainability for the project.