Helpful Resources for Your New Normal, Part 2

So many suggestions for using technology have been published in recent weeks that it can be hard to keep up. Last week, I shared just a couple of helpful resources I found while sorting through the possibilities.

This week, I want to share four sites where you can find multicultural and bilingual books. These would be great to use in digital lessons or virtual calls you conduct with your students. You could also share them with parents who have technology access. Even without a computer or internet access, many people have smartphones where they could read a story or two a day with their children.

Unite for Literacy

https://www.uniteforliteracy.com

This site provides books, primarily for younger learners, that are written in English or Spanish. However, the unique part is that narration is provided in 46 different languages! Not all books are available in all languages, but there’s a good variety. Narration languages include Burmese, Kinyarwanda, Hmong, Japanese, Chickasaw, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Karen.

The Spanish Experiment

https://www.thespanishexperiment.com/stories

Well known stories, such as The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, and Chicken Little are translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Some stories have videos, but most are audio and text translation with beautiful illustrations. 

The Fable Cottage

https://www.thefablecottage.com

Created by the folks at The Spanish Experiment, this is a newer site that includes translations in Spanish, French, Italian, and German. You can become a member in order to access audio and video downloads, but there’s still a lot you can see for free.

International Children’s Digital Library

http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategory?ilang=English

This digital library contains over 1,500 books available in many languages. Readers can easily search the library to find what they are looking for. Books are categorized for various ages, types of characters (animals, children), fiction & non-fiction, and length of text. The books are all print based. I didn’t see any narrations available. 

The best part about this library is that the books are not just translations of well-known American texts. They are stories from a variety of cultures around the world. These would be so good to make available to students whether they are English learners or native English speakers. Because many of the books are available in multiple languages, it would be a fun activity to have several ELs all read the same book to their classmates in their native languages. What a great resource for exposing all students to multicultural literature!

Global Storybooks Portal

https://globalstorybooks.net

Global Storybooks Portal provides translations and narrations for over 40 stories from the African Storybook. In addition to African languages, such as Dagbani, Swahili, Somali, and Kinyarwanda, there are also translations in Bengali, Spanish, French, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Gujarati, and many more. 

Primarily organized by country, once on that country’s page, you have the option of changing the translation to one of many languages spoken in that country. This is another great resource for providing authentic, multicultural literature to all of your students.


Bookmark these sites for use once you’re back in the classroom full-time, too. I can imagine making them available at a listening center for students, incorporating them into lessons to increase the multicultural foundation of your teaching, or providing them as reading content for newcomer ELs who are literate in their native language. The uses are endless!

What ways could you use these texts in your current distance learning lessons or in your face to face lessons in the fall? 

Comment below to share your ideas!

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