One Third Stories are language learning tools - stories that start in English and end in another language. I reviewed the prototype last March and was really impressed with the concept and how well it worked. As I wrote then:
Languages open up a whole world of new opportunities and new experiences. The problem is, how do we introduce languages to young children in a way which makes them both accessible and fun? This is what One Third Stories have set out to accomplish and their approach is really something to get excited about!
Instead of throwing you in at the deep end, or just skirting the edges with a word followed by its translation, One Third Stories substitute English words for their counterparts, relying on the context of the surrounding sentence to clarify their meaning.
This short story follows a little girl who has lost her voice - the first couple of pages are English only, then Spanish words begin to appear as you move through the tale. This is such a fab idea, and feels a very natural way of learning new vocabulary. Enabling children to pick up those key words of the story very quickly is essential, as it inspires them to keep going by proving that they can do it. It's so much better than endlessly reciting the same thing over and over again, the way so many forays into language learning begin.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the books went into full production late last year. We were sent the Spanish language learning bundle (RRP £19.99) as a thank you for our initial support. These are also available in French, Italian, and German, and include a hardback book, audiobook, a set of 32 illustrated flashcards, and an activity book with puzzles and games. The hardback book alone is £14.99, so the bundle is really good value!
Obviously, Marianna is still too young (she only just turned two) to really engage with the concept wholescale, but she has enjoyed having the story read to her and pointing at the things she recognised, and repeating the Spanish words. I'm really excited to use it with her as she gets a little older though, and to use the same approach to start introducing some Welsh vocabulary before she starts learning it at school.
I really like that there are already options for ongoing learning - see the monthly subscription page - so you can continue to build on that initial enthusiasm! (Even better, OTS have kindly offered my readers a discount with the code BABIAFI15.)