english – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Category: english

“As lovers of all things British AND foreign, especially languages, the team at bsmall publishing are leading a crusade to keep foreign language learning alive in the minds of our kids and parents at home.”

Thus starts the press release from bsmall publishing, announcing their new series of books entitled Hello Languages.’

I’ve blogged about bsmall products in the past including the I can read series and their dual language books for older KS2 pupils, and I also helped them with some advice a couple of years ago, so I was really pleased to be contacted for my comments on this latest publication.

bsmall have approached the creation of these materials with the following in mind:

“Kids like cool facts and fun things to do. That’s why language learning books for kids should … take the essence of the language… [and] be bright, bold, fun and colourful..filled with practical examples of language in everyday life and [encouraging] kids to just have a go without fear of making mistakes.”

The Hello languages series is available in three languages – English, French and Spanish – and is bold, colourful and fun. It’s intended to be used independently by children rather than as a classroom resource, and comprises four books;

  • Beginner’s guide
  • Picture dictionary
  • Workbook
  • Colouring book

I was sent the Hello French! materials to have a peek before they were released.

The Beginner’s Guide is organised under 6 topics and takes one aspect for each double page; for example, in Viens chez moi there are pages on Ma famille, À la maison, La cuisine et le salon,  and Ma chambre et la salle de bains. It gives vocabulary and some useful phrases as well as a very short explanation or comment in English at the start of each topic as well as for certain themes such as the weather and time. The vocabulary is supplied as labels on a vibrant illustration, in French, English and with a guide to pronunciation.* There is also a word list at the back of the book for reference.

*I’m not a great fan of this as I think it can lead to confusion – how many of you have seen children laboriously copy out the phonetic version of words from a dictionary, and also over pronounciation – grassy arse? However, given that this is a resource for children to access on their own, without phonics input or a spoken example, perhaps supported by a parent who is also unaware of how to say the words/phrases, I can see the value of including the ‘how to pronounce’ notes.

The Workbook goes alongside the Beginner’s Guide, giving children an opportunity to apply what they learn in a series of Challenges – as the front page says ‘Practice makes perfect!’ On completion, children can check their answers at the back of the book and are invited to assess how they’ve got on by colouring or circling one of three faces – Bien, Pas mal or pas super.

The Colouring Book takes some of the topics and themes from the Beginner’s Guide and offers the opportunity to colour the illustration used in the latter as the child wishes, reinforcing vocabulary which is labelled as in the Beginner’s Guide.

The French-English Picture Dictionary is organised by topic with nine vocabulary items per page, and an alphabetical word list of the 350+ vocabulary items in French-English and English-French at the end.

This is a resource that I could happily recommend to a parent who wants to encourage their child’s language learning at home. It’s suitable for younger learners with some adult support in part (the workbook is labelled 6+ due to the required level of literacy) and could be used in the language being learned at school – for my pupils, this is Spanish – or in a new language – in my case, French.

You can find out more on the bsmall website – www.bsmall.co.uk  and, on their language learning pages, you see their other language resources including books, dual language texts, play scripts, sticker books, activity books  and card games and download a catalogue.

 

*This is a book review as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 #MCBD2018*

The Marvellous Mexican Misunderstanding is a delightful book about a little boy called Adri who  overhears his Mum and Aunt Chiquita talking about the Day of the Dead and gets completely the wrong end of the stick. He asks his sister Tani lots of questions about the Aztecs, the Day of the Dead but she mischievously decides to use his ignorance of the festival as a way of teasing him, and confirms his fears.  Over the seven days leading up to Day of the Dead, every visitor and every event seems to confirm his fear that he is going to die; the Dad brings him a skeleton costume for Halloween, the neighbour brings ‘pan de muerto’, his Mum makes his favourite food. On the eve of Day of the Dead, Adri writes letters to his family and prepares himself. Will the misunderstanding be unravelled or will Adri’s fear come true? You’ll have to read and find out!

The illustrations by Nefeli Malie are wonderful – bright and childlike, and coupled with the lovely prose by Evi Triantafyllides, they tell the story of Adri in a clear and appealing way, at the same time exposing readers to aspects of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) festival. And the book is not just a story. There’s a dictionary of Spanish and English terms related to the story as well as questions posed as ‘Mexican mysteries’ about the text that highlight facts about Mexico.  The book itself forms part of the first ‘parcel’ offered by Worldwide Buddies.

Worldwide Buddies is a series of fictional, educational stories with characters from different countries around the globe that allow children to imagine a more beautifully complex world. Stories are designed to promote cultural awareness and introduce little ones to the diverse realities and wonders of the world, early on.

“A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding” is the first story of the series and will become available for purchase through their website in a couple of weeks: www.worldwidebuddies.com

Alongside the story, readers can also purchase a story box with additional games, toys and activities that accompany the book. You can find out more on their website or via Facebook or Instagram.

As Worldwide Buddies will start accepting orders for the books ($18) and story box ($35) soon. As they are based in the USA, I asked Evi if the book and story box will be available in the UK, and she confirmed that yes, delivery will be possible to the UK too.

As a teacher of Spanish to young children, I love this book as it is amusing and gently makes fun of Adri’s misunderstanding to reveal the wonder of the Day of the Dead festival, explaining how it is a happy festival and a time to remember those who have passed away. I’ll certainly be sharing it with my learners next year in the run up to November 1st. It also leads into a pertinent discussion about our fears often that fit well with the  SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) agenda here. I look forward to reading more Worldwide Buddies books!

Details about #MCBD2018:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. View our 2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/mcbd2018-medallion-level-sponsors/
View our 2018 MCBD Author Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/2018-author-sponsors/
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm EST.
You can join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Did you know that Saturday 27th January is Multicultural Children’s Book Day? Nor did I until I saw a tweet asking for reviewers who were interested in books and multicultural/ intercultural awareness. As a fan of both, I jumped at the chance, and my book review will follow in the next post. 

Below are details of the event. Please note that it is based in the United States so timings are not GMT, and some offers may not be available to those in the United Kingdom. However, all the online resources are available irrespective of where you live – the beauty of the Net!

Come back tomorrow for a review of The Marvellous Mexican Misunderstanding by Evi Triantafyllides of WorldwideBuddies.com

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honoured to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports QueenAuthor Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm. (EST which is 2am GMT)

Join the conversation and win one of twelve 5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta 

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Another post about books I bought in Bilbao.

I’ve long been a fan of Gloria Fuertes, in particular her poem Doña Pito Piturra which I’ve written about before and so has Erzsi Culshaw.

The National Curriculum Language programme requires learners to:

  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

and the KS2 section specifically states that pupils should be taught to:

  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language

I’m trying to include more whole class poems that we read and recite together in light of this and also as a way of supporting the English curriculum which requires learners to recite poetry.

So when I saw a series of books called Lee con Gloria Fuertes I decided to purchase a couple. It was hard to decide which to choose but I settled for one on nature and one on weather.


Below are my favourite poems from the books. The first is a list of wishes entitled Todos contra la contaminación which fits well with the eco focus at both my schools and would work well as a reading/drawing activity with learners choosing a line or two to illustrate. The second poem is called Gatos constipados and is about two poorly cats who get thrown out for coughing too much!

There are lots more books in the series so I may well purchase more in the future.

You can find more poems specifically for children by Gloria Fuertes here and others here. In this post there are a number of downloads of her poems along with links to other Gloria Fuertes poems including here (poems about time) and here (poems about professions). You can find a PDF of more of her work here plus here which also has a reading guide.

 

And here’s my session on Making links across the curriculum.

I didn’t get to share my Pinterest pages as they were blocked by the firewall, but here’s the link to my Roman resources for Spanish. If you click through the presentation, you’ll find links to things like the music for The Carnival of the Animals, a slideshare of Querido Zoo, links to BuildyourWildself and Switchzoo for making hybrid animals and a cheesy song in Spanish about the planets.

Some resources that I said I’d share –

habitats matching copy worksheet

LAT SP FR ROM NUMBERS 1-31

I also recommended looking at The Iris Project and MFL Sunderland for other resources that I have found useful for Latin/Greek (former) and Latin, Planets and much more (latter) And check out TES Resources from Joan Miró resources from Helen Stanistreet and Rachel Hawkes

If I’ve missed anything out that I promised to post, please let me know!

Linguamedia is an app that allows you to watch foreign TV stations online. Originally launched earlier this year with French channels,  Linguascope announced today that their Linguamedia app has been updated so you can now watch German, Spanish, Italian and English channels as well as French ones. They’ve also improved video playback, and updated it for the iPhone5 screen.

The app costs 69p and offers 16 French, 6 German, 12 Italian, 12 Spanish and 5 English channels (NB the channels are in that language not necessarily from that country so there is an Austrian and a Swiss channel for German) It is possible to access TV online e.g. by searching “RTVE” you can watch the stream of RTVE1, RTVE2, Telesport and Canal 24H, but for convenience, this app is great. You need a wifi connection to view the stations, and as Linguascope warn

I’ve mentioned Linguatrivia Spanish and Newshound previously but there are many other apps from Linguascope available. Worth a look!

Just found this lovely story app via my Google Reader. Called Calliope, Queen of the Zebras, it’s a very simple story that you can read or have read to you. And it is written in English, Spanish and French – you change language by clicking on the cowboy hat, beret and sombrero so you can read each page in a different language if you want. The book also has hidden animations and sounds, and a fun page on which you can dress Calliope. And it’s a lovely story too –

“I can sing or swing,

I can be or do anything.”

There are another two story apps from StoryBook ExpressDott Meets Watt and If I only had wings, both of which are in English Spanish and Vietnamese, and come with a parent’s guide of questions to get your child talking.

I’ll be looking out for more in the series too…


I’m very excited to pass on the news from Val Thornber of Little Tales of the Unexpected and Beelingua fame.

Her message reads –

I am delighted to inform you that a unique collection of GrowstoryGrow’s wonderful stories has just been published by Beelingua Products Ltd (makers of Little Tails of the Unexpected).

The stories are all designed to help primary school children effectively learn a foreign language.

Each story has sentence-building tasks, games, fun lesson plans and many other useful resources.

All of these stories are currently available “Free of Charge” for a trial period.

COMING SOON – over 100 extra stories will be available in many languages including German, Italian, Urdu, Russian, Hindi, Portuguese, Arabic and Polish.

Over the course of the next few months we will be regularly publishing these new stories. If you would like us to tell you about these new publications you need to subscribe to our newsletter.

Please forward tell parents, teachers and friends who you think may find GrowStoryGrow stories useful. Why not try out the stories with your children TODAY and please let us have any feedback by sending an email to Valerie Thornber (creator of GSG): val@growstorygrow.com

To access the stories you will need to log-in to the website www.growstorygrow.com

There you will receive a trial login and be able to try out the product for a while.

I love Les sacs en plastique – ver
y simple but with an important message; and Le monstre de la musique is very amusing too – if only it were in Spanish, I could use it wth Year 5 in their current unit of work!

Can’t wait for more languages and more stories to be added.

If yu check out the site in detail, you’ll find details of the methodology behind the resource, how the Scheme of work will be comprised and also details of pricing for September.

Well done Val and keep up the hard work!

¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
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