Title: Mess on the Floor - a magic talking book
Languages: French, German, Spanish, Gaelic, Chinese
By: Peter Terrell, Lexus for Languages
Price: Paperback: £6.99
Website: www.lexusforlanguages.co.ukLiz Black
It is easy to see why this delightful story with super illustrations by Elfreda Crehan will engage young learners. It would enhance any scheme of work.
The author Peter Terrell has come up with a very user friendly app and the book currently in French, German Spanish and Gaelic, with Chinese to come, will certainly appeal. A curious cat is trying to work out what the mess on the floor is and has a bit of bother…
Teachers and pupils first need to download the free Layar app onto their smartphones and then point the phone at the first page. Ideally the children would either need to listen on their own or in pairs as the book size is too small for whole class reading. (It could for example be used for more able or more experienced learners as an extension activity).
As they turn the pages, the children can hear the story in two languages read aloud by a native speaker at a lively, natural pace. The cat ‘speaks’ the foreign language, sometimes the first and sometimes the second utterance on the page. I personally think this is good, because children will have to concentrate more.
This of course fits the ‘criteria’ of the Programme of Study: ’appreciate stories in the language’ and ‘read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing’ but what I particularly like is the careful choice of phrases, rhyming words and use of questions, for example the German story starts with Was ist das? Squashed banana? Oder Sahne?
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