Edwards, Viv; Pemberton, Lyn; Knight, John and Monaghan, Frank
Fabula: A Bilingual Multimedia Authoring Environment for Children Exploring Minority Languages.
Language Learning and Technology, 6(2),
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Fabula, an interdisciplinary project funded by the EU Multimedia Software programme, provides software to enable children learning European minority languages to create bilingual digital books. We share a set of assumptions and approaches to the key issues addressed by the project. First, bilingual books are a powerful teaching tool of great value in multilingual classrooms. Second, the graphic design of books has important effects in finding inventive solutions to problems. Third, multimedia can enrich bilingual books. Finally, self-made materials motivate children. These assumptions led to a general definition of the Fabula software: an easy-to-use software environment for making and viewing interactive multimedia bilingual books, concentrating on 'languages of lesser diffusion'. The language pairs we currently cater for are Welsh/English, Irish/English, Basque/French, Catalan/Spanish and Frisian/Dutch. We shall present a brief description of the Fabula software and discuss the ways in which it has been used in schools in Europe. We shall also set out our future plans for Fabula, including a Europe-wide competition for schools and the creation of a WWW-based "on-line library" for teachers and children who use the Fabula software.
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