- British Council and Aardman Animations partnership to encourage children to learn the English language
- Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time to become faces of learner centre network and unique products for early years English learners across the globe
The stars of the globally successful animated TV shows Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time will soon be encouraging flocks of children around the world to learn English – thanks to a partnership between the British Council and Aardman Animations.
Combining the British Council’s expertise in English Language Teaching with Aardman’s creative flair, the animated TV stars are to become the faces of a global network of newly established early years English learner centres, starting in Chile and Singapore later this year.
Through a unique learning approach based around the creativity and fun of the Aardman characters, children at the learner centres will be transported into Shaun and Timmy’s world with themed classrooms and learning based on the popular TV series. The new offer draws on the British Council’s years of experience in English Language Teaching to provide sound pedagogical curricula addressing the needs of younger learners.
The well-loved characters will also be part of a new range of unique language learning products including stories, activity booklets and digital resources designed to get two to six year olds engaged and excited about taking their first steps into the English language.
In promoting two great UK assets - creativity and the English language - on a global scale, it is hoped that the exciting venture will improve international education and collaboration, as well as showcase the UK as a leader in quality and trusted educational expertise worldwide.
Commenting on the announcement, British Council Director English, Anna Searle, said: “The British Council is delighted to be working with Aardman Animations to bring a unique learning experience to early years or younger English learners around the world. As such a well-loved and well-respected British institution, Aardman’s creativity and innovation combined with our expertise in English language teaching is certain to help children across the globe engage with the English language in a whole new way. We look forward to helping Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time make their mark in the world of English language learning!”
Sean Clarke, Head of Rights and Brand Development, Aardman Animations, added: “We have worked hard over the last five years to build Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time into global brands entertaining children in over 150 countries around the globe. This is a great foundation to build a partnership with the British Council to create a package of fun and entertaining English Language learning experiences for early years or younger learners all over the world.”
In helping more people to learn English from a younger age, the partnership will help meet the global demand for the English language – something which greatly benefits the UK economy, particularly in the fields of business and higher education, as well as providing skills for individuals. This growth also aids the UK’s creative industries such as film, music and publishing, to be major competitors on an international scale.