Positive Online Content to promote literacy among European children

Some say that the internet is ruining children's reading and writing skills; but positive online content has the potential to help even the youngest children to learn how to read and write, and to discover new languages online. To mark International Literacy Day (ILD), which takes place on Sunday, 8 September 2019, we look at a number of fun and educational online resources promoting literacy from all over Europe.

ILD has been celebrated every 8 September since 1967 around the world with the aim of, according to UNESCO, "reminding the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and advancing the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society". According to the European Literacy Policy Network, 17 per cent of European 15-year-olds have poor reading skills – representing about 13 million young people.

The internet represents a unique opportunity for parents, carers and education professionals to support their children and pupils' reading literacy skills as it gives them access to a world of fun, educational and engaging learning resources on the topic for diverse ages and languages. Below, we have gathered just a few recommended by the Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs), as part of the ongoing Positive Online Content Awareness Month – positive online content being defined as "digital content aimed at children, which enables them to learn, have fun, create, enjoy, develop a positive view of themselves and respect for their identity, enhance their participation in society and produce and distribute their own positive content".

  • Дечица (Young children) – This Bulgarian website offers a wide range of games for children to learn how to read and write in a playful way.
  • Уча се (I am learning) – This Bulgarian platform offers access to school lessons on many topics, including foreign languages, presented in an interactive manner.
  • RTÉjr – This Irish television channel for children contains many interesting educational programmes, and the website provides spelling games for young viewers.
  • Paxel123 – This Icelandic website aims to stimulate children's reading literacy through online games. It also proposes 20 do-it-yourself activities to help adults develop children's literacy at home or in the classroom.
  • Dacobots – eLearning for Kids – On this online portal, available both in Romanian and English, children can play a wide range of educational games, including language-related ones.
  • LRT – This Lithuanian website provides educational online content – including literacy-related resources – such as games, for children in kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond.
  • Valodiņa – This Latvian resource is a training game for kindergarten and elementary school pupils, helping them learn Latvian in a fun way.
  • Naša ulica (Our street) – This Slovenian website is an extension of national paper workbooks for the first grades of elementary school – it teaches them basic literacy in a fun and entertaining way.
  • The Icelandic Directorate of Education website provides a wide range of fun educational games, notably aiming to promote literacy, for children aged 6-16.
  • Detske stranky – This Czech website offers lots of interactive educational worksheets for children aged 6-10, including about words and letters, and foreign languages.
  • oli.lu – This website offers e-learning resources and online games for children, educators and parents in English, French, German, Portuguese and Luxembourgish.

Discover many more fun, entertaining and educational resources in the BIK repository of positive online content examples.

Find out more information about ILD from UNESCO and the United Nations' website. You can also follow the events of the day on Twitter using the hashtag #LiteracyDay.

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