15% higher learning results in English than state average.
Play based pedagogy proved to be very efficient in this two year pilot project with over 1,700 preschool and standard one children in Perak.
This pilot project was conducted from March 2020 to February 2022 together with Larut Matang Dan Selama District Education Office and Finnish Education Solutions Sdn Bhd. 31 schools, 70 teachers and up to 1780 students were involved. The Covid-19 pandemic affected the project implementation with various school closures and challenges in arranging the remote learning.
In this pilot project, the latest Finnish method for early foreign language learning was introduced. The method, packaged as the Moomin Language School concept and licensed from the Finnish language learning solution provider Playvation Ltd, is based on the latest Finnish education methods, implicit learning and language immersion. In addition, it utilizes digital tools and spaced learning to create a safe, engaging and effective way for children to learn a new language. The service combines a mobile language learning game with predesigned on-site playful group sessions.
By playing the mobile game, children build a broad vocabulary and a strong understanding of grammar, while the teacher-led predesigned playful classroom sessions help children to start communicating in the new language.
The service is created by an interdisciplinary team of experts and is based on a solid educational curriculum that not only teaches a language but takes a holistic approach to help children develop as wholesome individuals.
We compared the use of the Moomin Language School learning application and the assessments given by teachers, with a total of 330 children. Seventeen schools were selected for the study in a partially randomized manner. Because there is a difference in the use of
grading scales between schools, the grades received by all children were normalized on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 corresponding to the worst grade and 3 to the best. The estimates are therefore not absolute, but the scale has been changed. Grade 3 thus corresponds to the more commonly used grade of 6. The grades given by teachers to the first-year school group had risen slightly more linearly than those of the preschoolers. However, the difference between the groups is not statistically significant. The essential information is that both groups get better grades as the game progresses. For schoolchildren, the difference is statistically clearer. The correlation between the number of DSUs (daily study units) played in the learning application and the grades from teachers is statistically significant for first-year schoolchildren. The Pearson correlation is .001 (N = 262).
The following image shows the grades that the children received in the first-year group.
We also compared the assessment grades between the treatment group to control group which consist of students from the same district who did not follow the program. Among the treatment group grades were constantly higher except in six school/levels where opposite results were discovered. On average grades were 15.15% higher in treatment group.
BELOW IS THE CONCLUSION OF INDEPENDENT IMPACT STUDY OF THE PROJECT CONDUCTED BY IIUM
The conclusion is divided into five parts in answering the objectives of this project and suggestion for improvement:
(1) PPD officers’ perspective on the effectiveness of Moomin Language School App,
(2) students’ performance before and after the Moomin App programme,
(3) overall management of Moomin Language School App,
(4) challenge and opportunity of Moomin Language School App, and
(5) suggestion for improvement.
PPD officers’ perspective of Moomin Language School App programme
- The PPD officers stated that the teachers lacked creativity, materials and some were not proficient in teaching English
- The face-to-face teaching method had better interaction between teachers and students
- The online method gave time and space flexibility where they could engage with the programme whenever they liked and the materials were available online
- To make English learning more effective and fun, the teachers needed to plan ahead of time, use different delivery techniques, keep it simple and use a lot of visuals to create and maintain students’ engagement.
Students’ performance before and after the Moomin Language School App programme
- The PPD officers used exam and test, and peer evaluation and review as the assessment tools to measure the students’ performance before and after engaging with Moomin Language School App.
- They agreed that 100% of the participated students improve their English
Overall management of Moomin Apps programme
● The PPD officers had consistent monitoring of results in participating schools, reported issues to the coordinator in a timely manner and conducted regular workshops with the schools and teachers.
Challenges and opportunities in using Moomin Apps
- The most challenging situation for Moomin apps was the disruption of the programme due to the pandemic where the government closed the schools.
- The second challenge was to sustain the interest of teachers and students in keep using Moomin Language School App for their English learning.
- The opportunity to prove Moomin Language School App was the re-strategizing the activities and programme based on the students’ performance feedback
- The programme gave the opportunity to the students, teachers and officers to understand and execute a new programme (Moomin) to improve English learning.
- Students: personal connection between teachers and students and to identify and support struggling students.
- Teacher: to realise their roles as models to encourage students to learn and improve their English.
- Schools: To create online collaboration with the involved parties, to improve the infrastructure to support the programmes and to improve assessment methods.