Learning English with Aardman

Aardman Animation is on board to help the British Council teach English to young learners around the world.

Aardman Animations, the production studio behind the "Shaun the Sheep" franchise and "Timmy Time," has teamed with the British Council, the U.K.'s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, for an educational endeavor that aims to teach the English language to young learners around the world.

The program launched first in Chile and Singapore and is continually growing to include further learning centers around the world. The early English program uses a learning approach based on Aardman's characters as they incorporate themed classrooms and teachings based on the two TV series.

The characters are a part of a range of learning products such as stories, activity books and digital resources targeted to early learners, ages 2 to 6, as well as a series of apps. To-date, the relationship has rolled out 46 episodes for the program.

"The relationship with the British Council started in 2014 when we were approached to collaborate on themed centers," says Sean Clarke, head of rights and brand development, Aardman Animations. "We embraced a partnership with the British Council in that we felt it was a great opportunity. What Aardman can bring is our characters, entertainment and engagement with children, ages 2 to 6, which the British Council can marry with the premium, world-renowned expertise in the teaching of English."

"We've got many years of experience around the world–in more than 100 countries for 75-plus years," says Kate Joyce, head of early years, British Council. "Parents around the world have been seeing the benefit of introducing their children to English at an earlier age in recent years, and we wanted to give those children the opportunity to learn in a fun way that inspires them, and which enables them to play an explore. That is one of the main reasons we wanted to pair up with Aardman–it brings those learnings to life."

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