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.uk

Liz Black

ALL Council member, PGCE tutor York University/ freelance author and consultant

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?

More reviews ...

The Teacher Effect

Department for Education Blog for teachers, by teachers. Covering everything from reducing workload to pupil premium, school leadership and pupil wellbeing. Recently added is Ryan's Teacher Effect story - by helping his pupils to see language in context, Ryan showed...

read more

Languages Today Issues 30-32: 2018-19

A summary of Languages Today magazine content in 2018-19 Autumn 2018 Lend an Ear - the power of listening in the language classroom. Spring 2019 Better Connected - the benefits of sharing ideas and connecting teachers with research. Summer 2019 All for one and one for...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest