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Language Showering in Jyväskylä

place Finland

Natural language learning and teaching in everyday activities & routines!

Language showering is a method of foreign language teaching where preschool teachers, at times, use target languages during the children’s everyday activities. The primary aim of the method is to provide positive experiences of languages and language learning. In the city of Jyväskylä, language showering has become a permanent activity, creating positive experiences for all involved!

Bilingual Education


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Bilingual Education

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Target group
January 2020

About the innovation

The Jyväskylä method: language enriched learning

Language showering is a method of foreign language teaching where preschool teachers and staff use a foreign language during the children's everyday life and activities. The foreign language is used occasionally and where it fits naturally, which enables the majority of the language being spoken to be the country's official language with the foreign language being showered here and there. 

Language showering is an official part of the early childhood education curriculum in the city of Jyväskylä, where the showering languages are English, German, French and Russian. The variation of languages is up to the teachers: some prefer to mix them up daily, but it is recommended to use one foreign language over a longer period of time so as to not confuse languages and to further support learning.

Pedagogically language showering takes advantage of the critical period of the children's nervous system when they are more heightened to language stimuli. Language showering also incorporates language learning through functionality and music by utilizing foreign language versions of games and songs the children are already familiar with in their own mother tongues.

As part of everyday life, language showering enables busy staff to focus on their daily curriculum as showering is not something to be incorporated into a certain time slot, and children won’t view it as studying and there is no pressure in achieving a certain level of language learning. Using a foreign language, the teacher can, for example, greet the children each morning, count the children in attendance, play a game of I spy using colors outside, praise the children for their good deeds and wish them well at the end of the day. Naptime stories can also be read in a foreign language, and if the teacher is not confident in, for example, their French reading abilities, the teacher can find stories online in video or audio formats.

The primary goal is to create positive experiences of languages and language learning! As the primary goal is not to learn the language, language showering can be applied with a very basic vocabulary and the use of a target language is encouraged even if one makes mistakes in it. Few people have time to learn four foreign languages fluently while working and as such, language showering does not require one to be trained as a language teacher or to have native-like skills in the target language. With a very basic vocabulary anyone can apply language showering! Children’s parents are encouraged to maintain the enthusiasm towards languages and employ language showering at home as children often want to demonstrate their knowledge of a language to their family. Tips and games for language showering at home can be found on our Youtube-channel:


Language showering is often compared with language immersion. Whereas in language immersion the target language is used almost constantly, in language showering it is used occasionally and where it fits naturally. In language showers, language learning and use are, of course, encouraged, but the primary goal is to get children excited about foreign languages!

Language showering was invented in Jyväskylä, Finland and celebrates 10-years of operations in 2020! 

For more information please visit: https://peda.net/jyvaskyla/kielisuihkutus/in-english

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Introducing languages in early childhood education is important to create positive language learning experiences in school. This can be easily introduced into a classroom by involving the diversity and richness of multilingualism within the community which can be scaled worldwide.

HundrED Academy Reviews
This is an innovation that can easily be implemented all over the world. I can't think of a place where this educational practice couldn't be used to enrich the days at the kindergartens and preschools and the life of the children.
The learning based around the acquisition of the new language is varied and active. There is no emphasis on 'getting it right' the emphasis is on developing a comfortable association with both the language and learning.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
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