Update 30.9.2022: We are holding a competition in the autumn semester with these materials - Click here for the article in simple language: www.europakonsument.at/gewinnspiel2022
Learning aids for teenage English classes
As children and young people spend a large part of their time on the internet, they come into contact with dubious online offers at an increasingly early stage. In some cases, they are exposed to marketing tricks that involve unforeseen costs, threats to privacy or even fraudulent schemes. To counter this, seven ECC-Net Consumer Centres have joined forces to produce educational materials for the youngest and most vulnerable consumer group.
The joint project was launched by the ECCs of Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden as part of this year's European Year of Youth (#EYY2022). This year, young people are encouraged to get involved in shaping a greener, more inclusive and more digital Europe through a wide range of activities.
Through their active presence on the internet and social media, many young people openly share data and personal information and shop online as a matter of course. Although young consumers are often technologically savvy, studies show that they are surprisingly uncritical when it comes to online risks and pitfalls. The ECC-Net campaign addresses some of these everyday online threats that arise in the lives of children and young people. The joint effort has produced the following teaching resources:
An animated video aimed at an audience of slightly younger children and young people (between 11 and 15 years). The video addresses risks in mobile games, such as unwanted subscriptions and hidden costs. The clip shows children in various situations getting into trouble while playing by accepting such offers.
A quiz game aimed at slightly older teenagers who are still more active online. The quiz is divided into four sections dealing with games, shopping, digital rights on social platforms and scams and subscription traps. We provide the interactive online version and a printable version for download.
As an alternative to the online version of the quiz above, there is also the print version for those school classes that do not have enough equipment or where the online version is not suitable for didactic reasons. In addition to the quiz itself, there are accompanying guides with application ideas for teachers to get the most out of the teaching materials provided. (Print version and guides at the bottom under Downloads)
Cooperation with teachers
As both the quiz and the video are in English, they are most likely to be useful in English classes. Curricula and teaching styles are quite diverse across the EU, so it is difficult to prescribe a target group by exact age. We therefore rely on the assessment of the teachers themselves, who can best judge which school level or grade the materials are suitable for based on the individual language progress of their students.
The content actively encourages young people to discuss the topics in class. In the classroom, students will improve both their ability to make informed decisions about the ubiquitous lure of the Internet and their language skills. The last point is an advantage not to be underestimated, given the dominance of English in the online world.
Whether students watch the clip, take the quiz or both - in class or on their own initiative - we as a project team are confident that the materials will raise awareness and understanding among the youngest consumers. We are convinced that having fun while learning is the best way to learn.