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Listening Eyes in the Museum

The Museum has developed a set of cards that low-literate young people (and adults) can use to explore the Museum and its rich collections.

This tool can be used both to acquire cultural knowledge and learn new Dutch words. Listening Eyes are also designed to expand the target audience’s range of experience and social skills in a creative way. Listening Eyes is an educational concept of the non-profit organisation KOCA vzw, developed by Oliva Moors.

Listening Eyes

Led by their own teacher/facilitator, young people or adults with low literacy or poor language skills can visit the Museum with the new tool, which consists of a wallet containing cards with ten words on them. The words have multiple layers of meaning, such as ‘ik’ (‘I’), ‘kunst’ (‘art’) or ‘spiegel’ (‘mirror’).

Each word is shown in two different fonts: once in the ‘I’m learning to read’ font and once in a different font from the Museum’s collection. For each word, the Museum chooses an appropriate different font, so the students get to know a total of 11 different fonts. A second card goes with each word, showing a symbol/picture – a word picture that illustrates the word.

A third card shows an area or object from the Museum that matches the word and at the same time tells the story of the Museum. On the other side of this card, a brief explanation of the reason for this choice is given in very simple language. There are thus ten different versions of this card to go with the ten words.

There is also a fourth card with brief instructions and other details. The 31 cards come in a wallet. On a visit to the Museum, the teacher/facilitator gives each student (or group of two students) a word card and/or a word-picture card. The students search independently in the Museum for the object that they think fits the word best. Then the whole group goes round together. Each student talks about the object he/she has found and compares his findings with the Museum’s choice.

The wallet with its cards can also be used on different occasions by different groups visiting the Museum (for groups that want a different kind of visit, with a high level of participation by group members), and allows us to offer an interesting tour, arranged by the group’s own teacher/facilitator, for schools and groups unable to afford the services of a guide.

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