Mingoville Preschool will teach children English in Danish municipality

Tuesday, September 10th, the Danish municipality of Gentofte announced their new initiative for children between three and nine years. The initiative is called PLAY and LEARN and the idea is that children are to be exposed to the English language as early as possible.

Language gives cultural understanding
According to Anne Holmen, professor at the University of Copenhagen, the importance of an early start at language education can’t be understated. One thing is that the global labor market is dominated by English, which makes English skills almost mandatory. Another, and less quantifiable monetary advantage, is the more human skills attained by learning languages. According to Anne Holmen, good language skills give children a larger cultural understanding and a more global perspective. Not to mention, starting to learn English in an early age will give children a better language fluency and pronounciation.

A political goal
The Danish government decided back in June how the Danish education system should look like after August 2014. One of the decisions made, was that English as a language is to be taught from the first grade. Many schools and child care centers have started to implement English education ahead of the school reform. And now Gentofte municipality, as the first in Denmark, has announced that English is to be taught for children between 3 and 9 years old. This will not substitute English education in the later grades, but instead supplement it.

Where we come in
Beginning English learning from an earlier age requires more than just the ambition. It requires both teachers and educators with the necessary skills, but also tools and materials tailor made for this purpose. And this is where Mingoville Preschool come in. It has already been tested in child care centers in Vietnam, is successful in both China and many Latin American countries, which made it the obvious choice for Gentofte.

Our CEO, Stephan Stephensen, is happy for this initiative:
“It’s good to see a Danish municipality like Gentofte, who seriously focuses on the English education of smaller children.”

We’re both happy and proud to be part of this project, and hope that Gentofte isn’t the last Danish municipality who’s going to do something like this.Preschool

The smartwatch war begins, which is why your child should be able to tell time

It has been brewing for a long time, the battle of the smartwatches. When the Pebble, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign earning a record-setting 10.2 million dollars, breathed new life into the concept of watches with the capabilities of a small computer, life was at the same time given to a new battle for the consumers’ favor. A battle Samsung seeks to win over Apple.

As reported by Bloomberg, Samsung is getting ready to present their new smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, at their press conference the 4th of September, ahead of the IFA consumer electronics tradeshow in Berlin. This will surely force Apple to present their coming smartwatch, nicknamed iWatch, too.

Can you tell time?
What does this mean? There are the obvious benefits, like being able to check mails, messages and more without ever needing to pull out your smartphone. You just need to peek at your watch and all your information needs are satisfied. But it’s not just pure technological bliss. What happens to the regular watch as a cultural and shaping element, for example?

According to a YouGov survey, almost 60% of 16-34 year olds use their phone as a timepiece instead of a watch. At this point, with smartphones and digital watches as the primary way to keep time, why should young people learn to tell time on a traditional clock? In short, because the analogue watch is a valuable part of our cultural heritage.

Jokes and expressions
We don’t need to mention all the various analogue clocks set up across the world. Famous clock towers, clocks at train stations and so on. The modern man will probably be exposed to analogue clocks at the very least twice every day, even if he might not notice it.
An aspect of clocks that might not be immediately obvious is how they have shaped our language. In English, German and a number of other languages expressions such as “clockwise” and “counterclockwise” describe turning. In military brevity code, a unindentified radar contact (a Bogey) is described according to clock positions.
These things are worth preserving, as they are a vital part of our lingual and cultural history. If the analogue clock is allowed to become some sort of arcane knowledge, a part of our history is lost. Jokes, like the one between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (“11 o’clock!” “What happens at 11?”), loses all meaning.

Apart from changing all clocks around the world to digital ones, and judging from the outrage BBC got for their 1980 April Fool’s joke that won’t be happening anytime soon, the only other thing to do is to preserve the analogue clock.
Here at Savivo we know the importance of knowing the analogue clock. The advent of smartwatches shouldn’t be ignored, but by giving children and young people the skills to decipher the analogue clock, smartwatches won’t cause us to lose part of our culture.foto 1Mingoville Fun Clock is created to make it easy to teach children how to tell time on an analogue clock. Some adults are even using it to learn how to tell time in different languages.
Fun Clock is available on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Amazon Appstore.