Books for Children Learning English as an Additional Language (EAL)
In the last post for children learning English as an additional language I went through some of the key things I look for in books that are good to use with children who are learning English as an additional language. You can find the blog post here. In this post I’ll share why I love book series for EAL learners and also my finds for Ukrainian language books for sale in the UK.
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Familiarity Gives Confidence
I highlighted a book, Shark in the Park!, that my group of learners adored. The next book we explored following Shark in the Park! the following week was Shark in the Dark!; another brilliant book by Nick Sharratt in the Shark in the… series.
The reason I went for a book in the same series again was due to the confidence it gives when you explore something that feels more familiar.
For this book all the children joined in immediately from the start. The children began recalling what they could remember about the previous books and started to guess at what objects might be the ‘shark’ this time. This familiarity, yet also being new, gave the children much more confidence to use their new language.
After we finished reading Shark in the Dark! the children asked – are there more. They were thrilled to hear that there are two more…
As the adult facilitating the session, using something familiar that children make links to, gives you the opportunity to assess what the children have retained from the previous session and what to work further on this time. You can recap, while also expanding on their prior learning to teach new vocabulary and reading skills.
Personalised Phonic Learning Opportunities
One child has learnt phase 2 and 3 of phonics very quickly; if you want to find out more about phonics and what phases are check out my blog post – Phonics – What Are Phases? here.
This child wanted to understand why the boy’s surname ‘Pope’ was read as it was and not as /p/ /o/ /p/ /e/. I started all the children off on a little, independent activity to allow me to go into more details for this child. ‘Pope’ has a split digraph (if you’d like to know more about terminology head to the Phonics Glossary here). We looked at short and long vowel sounds and how the ‘e’ on the end of the word changes the sound of the other vowel in the word from a short to a long vowel sound.
I’ve been thrilled to discover several books stocked by Waterstones that are written in Ukrainian. It’s so important to continue to encourage children to use their home language both when they are speaking but also when reading and writing. Giving children the opportunity to read in their home language is so crucial. The text types they can access in English are unlikely to give them the same reading for pleasure feel as they would get from reading more challenging texts in their home language.
I’ve purchased some of the books I’ve discovered from Waterstones and can’t wait to see what my Ukrainian students think of them. Do let me know if you discover other places you can get Ukrainian language books from as I’d love to be able to add to this list.
These are the books that I have purchased below (click on the pink highlighted words to be directed to the page on Waterstones) with a little information that I know. There’s not much information on the Waterstones site but I will ensure I update this site once the books arrive with us.
Moomin Books in Ukrainian
We love Moomins by Tove Janssen so I’m interested to see which stories are in this collection. Moomin 2014: Moomin 1 – I’ll update as soon as it arrives.
Moomin 2014: Moomin 2 was also available to order but had a dispatch time of 3-4 weeks. As soon as it arrives I’ll update what stories are in this one too.
The Boy Who Grew Dragons
The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Sheppard and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie is book one in a great series for young readers who have moved onto chapters books (age range approximately 5+ through primary).
When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker …
Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great fun, but also very … unpredictable. Yes, dragons are wonderful, but they also set fire to your toothbrush and leave your pants hanging from the TV aerial. Tomas has to learn how to look after Flicker – and quickly. And then something extraordinary happens – more dragonfruits appear on the tree. Tomas is officially growing dragons …
Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell is a fast paced, fantasy, adventure that’s a real page turner for children aged around 8-12.
When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia – a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton.
Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.
Malamander by Thomas Taylor, like Wonderscape is for readers around 8-12. If you love mystery, magic and fantasy then this is one for you.
Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…
Free Access to Online Ukrainian Language Books for Children and Adults
Ukraine Unlimited Learning
A free app that my library sent a newsletter about has 3000 e-books and audiobooks in a variety of genres, including 1,700 Ukrainian titles and 500 in English. There is apparently material for both children and adults. You can install the app here:
My library wasn’t listed so I have got in contact with them to find out how I can access this resources. I’ll let you know what they say.
Be a Learner
One of the best ways to help children to learn a new language is to be a language learner yourself. This helps you to understand what they need to do and how it feels to learn a new language.
I’m a big fan of Duolingo and have been learning Ukrainian using the app. I have found I now want to learn a little more than what Duolingo tells me so have also found other sources to use alongside Duolingo.
For example I was finding that I wasn’t 100% sure when to use variation spellings on certain words. I found that some seemed to be gender specific but for other times I wasn’t sure. I discovered that Ukrainian, like many other languages uses ‘cases’. If you’d like to find out more I found this blog post helpful.
I then discovered that the same website also has a podcast. I’ve only just started listening to it. It’s great as it comes in quick – 5 minute – bite size chunks. You can find more details here.