Shannon Sauro
  • European Commission (Erasmus + projects)
Ansvarig vid Mau:
Shannon Sauro
  • Lead Partner: KU Leuven (Belgium). Other Partners: Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany)
  • Lunds dans- och musikalgymnasium (Sweden)
  • Georg-Forster-Gesamtschule Woerrstadt (Germany)
  • Guldensporencollege 7 (Belgium)
  • Sint-Jozefscollege (Belgium)
01 oktober 2017 - 31 maj 2020

While skills in one or more foreign languages (FL) or second languages (L2) and ICT skills are fundamental for a wide range of educational and professional opportunities, school education is not always successful in developing both to a desirable level. However, language, and especially creative genres such as fiction, can help foster empathy and understanding of context and culture – crucial for 21st century skills in a plurilingual and pluricultural world. In informal online learning, language, culture and ICT are often intertwined; examples include fan fiction writing, a form of creative writing that transforms popular media in some way, and the development of interactive fiction, a form of non-linear literature that verges on the world of gaming. In language education, however, language, culture and ICT are usually separated.

FanTALES addresses these gaps by developing, evaluating and disseminating technology-mediated fan fiction-based and multilingual interactive storytelling tasks. These tasks are aimed at the telecollaborative teaching and learning of languages and cultures, for English as a FL, and for Swedish, Dutch and German as L2s. Through a collaboration of teacher training departments at universities with secondary schools in Belgium, Sweden and Germany, the project mainly addresses adolescent language learners in school contexts (14-18 year old) and their teachers (in-service and pre-service).

The learning materials and activities developed by this project are intended to develop skills in reading, creative writing, written communication, intercultural dialogue and ICT skills through a learning-by-doing (task-based) approach. The project activities and results include (1) identifying popular source texts (youth literature, graphic novels, films, TV series, ...) in the different local cultures through the learners and teachers involved; (2) developing learning through doing modules for raising awareness and knowledge about fan fiction, multilingualism and interactive storytelling practices; (3) producing video tutorials for developing skills in these areas; (4) developing and evaluating tasks, evaluation rubrics, and a gamified web application for setting up, scaffolding and stimulating writing challenges; (5) preparing a handbook for teachers, and infographics kits for other stakeholders such as (educational) publishers and creative industries; and (6) organizing dissemination events in the respective countries, embedded in existing platforms for professional development of teachers.

Using an iterative methodology, teacher trainers and at least 200 pre-service teachers, in consultation with in-service teachers at the partner schools, will develop the learning materials and other outputs. The materials will be piloted with at least 600 pupils in schools. Experts in fandom, interactive fiction and telecollaboration will be consulted as external advisors to help set up and monitor the project activities and outcomes.

FanTALES aims to impact on language learning in secondary schools, particularly in terms of modernizing the teaching of literature and of other creative forms of linguistic and cultural expression; on the new media literacy of adolescents, adults, and teachers; on the attractiveness of teacher education for languages and the profession of language teaching more generally; and on the promotion of intercultural dialogue in a multilingual context. Sustainability of this impact will be achieved by using open tools for interactive storytelling such as Twine or the scripting language Ink, by making the learning materials available as open educational resources to schools and teacher training institutions, by encouraging community adaptation and sharing, and by deploying the project website and gamified writing challenge platform on a free-to-use web portal.