How to use the Autonomous Teacher Training Toolkit

The Folk DC Autonomous Teacher Training Tool Kit (ATTT) is designed for teachers across Europe and beyond to give them the opportunity to use music and games to raise their student’s awareness of European languages and cultures. The languages and cultures targeted are Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, the Roma culture, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Turkey and the UK.

The activities in the ATTT revolve around a collection of 20 children’s folk songs (in the 10 languages). The activities are designed, not only to make children play with melodies and words from other countries, but also to stimulate their curiosity through cultural games. The activities are divided in to three groups:

  • Culture
  • Language
  • Music

Cultural activities: These activities are targeted at introducing specific cultural icons of the countries. There are activities about typical music instruments, places where children like to spend their leisure time, typical food, children’s stories, legends, birthday songs and other interesting features of the culture of the European countries.

Language activities: use games, with linguistic and cultural elements to arouse children’s interest in the rich European language heritage. These will give them a taste of what lies in store for them as they grow and develop as full, linguistically and culturally aware, Europeans.

Music activities: help children be pleased and confident with their singing experiences, to explore music communication and to experiment with other languages’ sounds and phonemes, mainly through singing.

Visit the ATTT activities page and download all the descriptions and additional materials of the activities.

All activities included in the kit are described in detail and include additional materials (were necessary, described in the activity description).  Many of the additional materials are in PDF fomat, so easy to print as handouts for the activity. Alternatively, if you have a computer and projector in your classroom, they can be projected. Included are also a set of MP3 audio files for every folksong with templates of the words in the original languages and translations.

Visit the ATTT songs page and download all the songs and templates.

Piloting: The ATTT has been tested in primary schools in the UK, Spain, Romania, Turkey and Finland. The results have been very successful with children singing in four or five languages and acquiring awareness of their sounds through the activities. Some of the schools will be performing in the Folk DC Synchronous Concert in 2013.

Visit the ATTT piloting page.

Music and learning

Research shows there are many advantages in using music to help learn a second language. These include:

  • Verbal learning and verbatim memory for text are supported by a musical method;
  • Music helps to create a soothing environment as well as closer relationship between students and teacher;
  • Lessons become enjoyable and engaging and music helps achieve a deeper concentration and focus.
  • Although Folk DC is not about teaching languages, but just to create an awareness of them, it is useful, overall, to reflect on the use of music in daily teaching.

Tips on using the ATTT

Using  the ATTT:

  • First, listen to some of the songs in the collection of Folk Songs and read the templates with the lyrics. This will help you to understand what we are referring to when we mention the song and its template in the description of the activities.
  • Read the description of the activity and familiarise yourself with any additional materials. Then, try to visualize how it will develop with your students, before planning to use it in your classroom.
  • Feel free to adapt the activity to the number of students you have in your class and if you think that it may be better to shorten the activity, please do so. The activities are designed to allow flexibility.
  • Have a look of all the activities, Language, Culture and Music and try to design your lesson by combining  at least one from each set.
  • If you do not have enough time for three or more activities in one go, you can easily complete just one a day.
  • Let children be free to move their bodies when listening to a song. These are folk songs and very often they were written for dancing.
  • Sometimes, a word or a sound in another language can make the children laugh. Use it to excite their curiosity towards the language.
  • Do not feel as if you, as the teacher, must know the correct pronunciation of the foreign language or need to be an experienced singer…  You can still do the activities with your students, tell them that you too are learning. You are learning together.
  • Feel free to add your own creativity to the activities in the ATTT.  Experiment and enjoy!


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Educational and Culture DG - Lifelong Learning Programme
Disclaimer: The project FolkDC has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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