Children worldwide inspired to learn English with new app

Thursday 26 February 2015

 

Children around the world can now learn English alongside woolly favourite Timmy as the British Council and Aardman Animations launch their first Learning Time with Timmy tablet app.

As the latest venture in the unique partnership between the two organisations, the brand new app takes young learners on their first steps into learning the English language through a series of stimulating and playful activities.

Children will discover new English words for learn numbers, colours and shapes while playing games with Timmy and his friends, the stars of the popular animated television show ‘Timmy Time’. Listening to the narrator they follow the instructions to place toys and classroom objects in a box and sweep away leaves and snow to find food and objects hidden beneath. As children progress in the app, the games get more challenging and they can collect stickers watch videos to reward their achievements.

Commenting on the app’s launch, Neil Ballantyne, Mobile Learning Manager at the British Council, said: “As an organisation, we have over 80 years of experience in English language education so we know that parents are keen to see their children being exposed to English listening and speaking at an early stage.

“In the app, young learners will be able to hear how words sound in English and practice their skills by listening to instructions from the narrator, as well as develop their motor skills through games which encourage the use of swiping, tapping and dragging. The games are all designed to introduce children to the English language through listening and free play – a fantastic way to develop these vital life skills at an early age.”

Lorna Probert, Head of Digital Production at Aardman Animations, added: “Timmy Time is a show without dialogue whose characters can excite and encourage children whatever language they speak. Drawing on these values the app uses Timmy and his friends to inspire young children to discover and start learning simple English words in a fun and playful way.”

The Learning Time with Timmy tablet app will be available from February 2015 onwards. Parents can download it for their children from the Apple, Google Play and Amazon app stores for GBP2.29. 

For more information about the app, visit: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/apps

Learning Time with Timmy is part of a global partnership and complements the British Council’s unique learning centres that will feature Timmy and Shaun the Sheep.

 

Notes to Editor

Images and assets can be downloaded from here: http://bit.ly/1BbOeX5

Aimed at two to six year olds, the ‘Learning Time with Shaun and Timmy’ offer between the British Council and Aardman Animations gives children the chance to join family favourites Shaun and Timmy in their first steps into the English language.

In addition to the app and other English learning initiatives, a network of early years learner centres will be opening across the globe – the first two of which opened in Chile and Singapore in early 2015.

Shaun the Sheep made his debut in 1995 in the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit short film, A Close Shave. Since then he’s gone on to become a global superstar with his show on TV in 170 territories. His first feature length movie hit cinemas in February 2015, to rave reviews. Shaun was recently voted the nation’s best loved BBC children’s character of all time in a survey by the Radio Times: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-07-15/shaun-the-sheep-voted-the-nations-best-loved-bbc-childrens-tv-character. Timmy is the littlest lamb in Shaun’s flock and the star of Timmy Time, the multi-award winning pre-school TV show that debuted on CBeebies in April 2009 and now broadcast in over 150 territories worldwide.

For more information about the British Council, please contact Kristen McNicoll in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4967 or kristen.mcnicoll@britishcouncil.org

For more information about Aardman Animations, please contact Anna Harding on +44 (0)117 3071318 or anna.harding@aardman.com

About Aardman

Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series, advertising and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercial productions www.aardman.com  

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally. 

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.