Stories for Children

Stories for Children Logo

Logo by Isabel Flindt, Year 8

Aim

The aim of this project is to encourage the development of the collaborative writing of bi-lingual stories, by working with students in another country, or as part of school EAL development, using email and video-conferencing.

It is currently being  developed at Brunel University, School of Sport and Education, West London, as part of ITE courses both for Primary and Secondary student teachers.

The project encourages creativity, international collaboration, as well as artistic, writing, and ICT skill development.

Since September 2012, the model is being further developed to incorporate computer programming skills, to meet the UK government’s recent shift in emphasis from ICT to computer science teaching.  For a new web site which supports this curriculum development, including an Erasmus collaboration with the Charles University, Prague, see: Literacy from Scratch.  (Links above).

Method

Students at a secondary school in south London worked with schools in Beijing, China and Taichung, Taiwan. The model, however, can be applied to European countries just as easily, as well as being developed as a creative EAL project.

The first step in the process is to create the stories by placing just one or two sentences, in simple English, onto separate pages in PowerPoint. The page with a single text box at the top of the page provides the ideal format.

PowerPoint Layout used for the stories

These stories can then be sent as attachments to students in another country, where, with the help of their teachers, the second language can be added underneath the English. The files could also be posted on a collaborative web site.

Students in either or both countries can then illustrate, and/or animate these stories.

The page below, for example, was written in London and sent to Taiwan, where students translated the text into Mandarin, and then added a “voice-over” in Taiwanese. So it’s actually tri-lingual rather than bi-lingual!

Once upon a time there lived two fish called Salt and Pepper

The results of the project can be posted, like Salt and Pepper above, on the internet, where they can be used as a resource by students and teachers alike. The above file, for example, was used as part of a video-conference between London and a second school in Taichung.

Imagination is all!

Lawrence Williams, Director of World Ecitizens, and Teaching Fellow, Brunel University

You will find our examples of work in Mandarin and English students   here and some trilingual stories that include Taiwanese here. Teachers can also find stories for translation here.

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