At school, learn BA = BA painlessly with a video game

Ⓒ AFP – BERTRAND LANGLOIS – | A child tests a Grapho-Learn learning application in Marseille, January 8, 2018

“Wahoo: a game!”: In Marseille, schoolchildren are testing a tablet learning application. A “serious game” based on research in linguistics and neuroscience, showcases the ambitions of the Ministry of Education.

Helmet on the ears, Naëla directs her “avatar” in a haunted house decor and balloons. A voice utters simple sounds, the CP student clicks on the corresponding letter. “Too easy!” Exclaims the little girl.

Books? There is none at home, like many of her classmates, this 6-year-old who tests the “serious game” Grapho-Learn. His school, Cadenat, is classified REP +, and located in the 3rd arrondissement of Marseille, the poorest district of France.

“They are almost born with screens in their hands,” says their teacher Jean-Rémi Guillaume who believes that the application “offers a new entry into the reading”.

Ⓒ AFP – BERTRAND LANGLOIS – | Children learn to read with a new Grapho-Learn app in Marseille, January 8, 2018

Attractive and very simple in appearance, “Grapho-Learn” has been developed for 15 years in Finland. His series of exercises, increasingly difficult, has been adapted to the subtleties of the French language at the end of a scientific work of the University of Aix-Marseille.

The work sessions last 15 minutes. The colorful universe, from pirates to the underwater world, has been designed to optimize attention, without distracting. “The child wants to play and will spend 15 minutes doing repetition and not realizing that his brain is working hard to create connections that go from the visual cortex to the oral language,” says researcher Johannes Ziegler who is leading the project.

“We delegate to the tablet the most + stupid + and most repetitive task”, the automation of reading by learning the correspondence between sounds (“phonemes”) and letters (“graphemes”), details-t -he.

– “We can concentrate” –

This good old “BA = BA” “requires special attention to each student (but) that the teacher can not do individually,” says the scientist.

“It’s not a matter of replacing teachers with tablets” but to “save time to devote to educational activities that require a human: to understand a text, to make grammar,” he says. .

Ⓒ AFP – BERTRAND LANGLOIS – | The Grapho-Learn application already deployed in several European and African countries, is tested by 500 children, in 35 classes of CP and CE1 priority education in Marseille. 850,000 euros were invested

Since September, the application, which has already been deployed in several countries in Europe and Africa, is tested by 500 children, in 35 classes of CP and CE1 priority education in Marseille. 850,000 euros were invested.

This experiment is in line with pedagogical innovations stemming from research, particularly in neuroscience, of which the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer is a proponent.

It is funded, like 22 others, in an e-Fran mission on digital at school, a national milestone to be done Wednesday and Thursday by the ministry. From a scientific point of view, this deployment must make it possible to determine if the application improves well the results of the pupils, on a large scale and over the duration.

At Cadenat School, Camellia, Idriss, Mariana, Djamil and their comrades are already delighted with their first session. “With the tablet, there is no noise, we can focus,” says Kays, after winning three stars, the maximum, in an exercise.

Ⓒ AFP – BERTRAND LANGLOIS – | Children learn to read with the Grapho-Learn app in Marseille, January 8, 2018

Contrary to the crowd of applications of learning of the reading developed by private companies Grapho-Learn “was reflected from A to Z by researchers”, reassures Magali Romain, the other teacher of the CP of the school Cadenat . “Children and teachers can take ownership of it easily,” she says. Parents can download a version for the house.

The appearance of the screens, however, also raises reluctance: in this school, a third class refused to participate. The teacher ruled that tablets and phones were already invading children’s lives.

Terms of service