I believe that storybooks are the perfect resource for kids and children who first encounter a new language. By reading storybooks, they can learn English or other foreign language with fun and naturally. Many professional strongly recommend using storybooks for kid so that they can arouse interest and increase English skills at the same time. Then what is the exact advantage for using English storybooks for teaching children? Also, are there any useful websites to get resources?
Advantage of studying English with storybooks
Most storybooks use colorful and impressive image in order to deliver the message clearly to the young readers. Children can easily connect new vocabulary with images and colors and understand the story well. This is helpful for young kids to learn new expressions or words.
When memorizing a new vocabulary, it is more effective to learn the word within a certain context or a story, compare to simply memorize it. It is easy to guess the meaning of a word in a storybook where uses a simple word and a intuitive story. For this reason, children will naturally learn the words within the story which is easier to remember as a context.
On top of that, children can concentrate more to the study itself because of attractive stories in the books. It is difficult to continuously read and study English with difficult textbooks. However, if the study contents are fun, the studying will be fun too. For this reason, it is effective to use storybooks as a learning material. Children will be sunk into the story and naturally understand new words within the story telling, and this helps them to learn how the words are used and which vocabulary need to be used in a certain area. Not only that, but they can also increase the thinking and reasoning skills by reading storybooks.
When children encounter English with a storybook, they can learn the actual expression that native speakers are using in daily basis. This is possible because most of English storybooks are made in U.S.A, U.K, or other native English-speaking countries where composed the contents with native expression and culture. So, by reading the books, it feels like that we are physically in the country.
Most of storybooks try to tell a story that positively influence children so that they can grow well and be a good man/woman. This life lesson is important for them no matter what. By reading story books, they can learn various wisdom from all around the world.
5 Websites that you can get resources for English storybook
Following websites are providing free download for English storybooks or live sound clips for reading storybooks. Every website has their uniqueness and specialty, please find the suitable resources based and procs and cons.
1. EBSe Fun Reading
This website provides elementary level, books for teenagers, fiction, and non-fiction storybooks for children. Also, you can get downloadable e-book and mp3 files for free. The website also provides a mobile application which might be easier to access for most of young people. It provides native speaking audio file, and you can adjust the speed of the audio based on your preference. Some books are composed with their own learning materials. The service provides different level of storybooks for students so that you can choose and select based on your English skill. The book contains a speaker icon for each page so that you can easily listen to the page that was read by a native speaker. Based on the books you chose, some of them provides a test question based on the story or other learning materials. You need to sign up for the website in order to use the service. This website is recommended to who just begins to learn English and is looking for adult books.
2. Storyline Online
The website provides storybooks for little kids to elementary students. It is not possible to download the books freely, but they provide teacher’s guide for each book with a buyable link to the book. The books are read by actors from The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, that is high-quality storytelling. Storyline is funded by SAG-AFRA organization. For this reason, actors from dramas and plays read storybooks to readers. Since they are professional actors, it is much more fun to listen to it with their full emotion. Unlike from other websites where simply show a text of a storybook with images, this website provides the story with high quality background music and animated video which draw more attention from readers. Also, there is a short notation from the actor who read the book saying why he/she chose the book, and this is helpful for parents or teachers when choosing a book to children.
On top of that, Teacher’s Guide is provided for guiding readers to enjoy the book more deeply. However, this website doesn’t allow download the storybooks, and doesn’t provide a function for listening repetitively. This website is recommended for teachers in kindergarten, who enrolled in child education, or who want to sink deeply into the story.
This provides famous children’s books and self-produced children’s books, such as Aesop’s Fables, The Brothers Grimm, Andersen, and 1001 Night’s Fairy Tale. You can download a free script for movie-based storybook and audio file. All storybooks are read in British accent. You can freely leave a comment under the book and subscribe an updated news regarding the website with email. Storynory is based in London, U.K, so you can hear the storybooks with U.K. English. This might not be suitable for whom used to listen American accent. You can download the storybook freely if you want to use it for non-commercial use. However, it only provides a single image for each book, so you might feel bored because of too many texts without images.
Starfall’s books are composed of Greek and Chinese fairy tales, Aesop’s fables, creative fairy tales, etc. You can download a learning material for teachers, but it’s not allowed to download a audio file and a script. It is also accessible with mobile application without advertisement. This website is helpful for teachers since they provide relatable learning materials and learning planner for books.
Starfall is created from Stephen Schutz and his wife Susan Polls Schuts. Stephen was left behind during his childhood because he lacked reading ability compared to other kids. So, they want to help children who face similar difficulty as him. Therefore, the website and application run without any pop-up ads and payment. Since the main target for the service is in 1st year elementary schoolers, sot this is helpful for pre-school kids, kindergarteners, and 2nd year elementary students. Also, this service is following a curriculum based on American public school which is useful for home-schooling materials.
You can select your own storybooks in this website, with customized study materials. The class will be held 1:1 online, and the books are read by native speakers in a globe. Unlike from recorded message from other websites, you can get a storybook lesson as a live by different teachers. Since the classes are held with a single student and a teacher, you can get a customized lesson based on your own interests and level of English. The teacher will proceed various fun activities and tests to increase your English. The service can be accessible with mobile application too. Teachers in AmazingTalker are composed of various range starting from professional TESOL teachers to specialized kids’ teachers. You need to pay for getting a lesson in AmazingTalker(화상영어), but learning materials and storybook scripts are freely provided by teachers. On top of that, you can set your own time of schedule to get lessons, and freely adjust based on your needs.
For today, we have found 5 different websites and services for getting storybooks online. The most important thing to remember here is that we need to focus on fun while choosing storybooks to teach English to their kids and children. So be careful not to lose interest and fun when we use storybooks for English learning!