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No. 80 The Treasure Hunt Club (2012年04月09日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 80
April 2012 Treasure Hunt
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and Culture

Stories and Sounds

I met my neighbor on the street the other day. He’s a
businessman and reads a lot about marketing. “Put your
message in a story is the recent mantra,” he said. Watching
the collection of advertisements from the latest American
football Superbowl (http://superbowl-ads.com/article_archive
/), you can see how much that mantra of storytelling has
been embraced. Almost all of the ads are stories and almost
none of them tell you anything about the product. They just
tell a story they hope will resonate with viewers. Stories
have the power to do that.

The nice folks at EFL Classroom 2.0 have done the great
service of compiling a list of stories available online. It
is very comprehensive and organized by level, which can save
you lots of time when searching for appropriate stories for
your learners.

Tar Heel Reader is a site where you can find books or upload
short picture books you make yourself. It’s a great place
to share stories. http://tarheelreader.org/

The International Children’s Digital Library has a large
collection of stories in different languages, many from out-
of-print books. It’s a great resource, but it will take you
some time to search through all the content to find good
books suitable for your learners. Click on “Read Books” in
the menu bar to begin a search.
They also have iPad and iPhone apps that allow you to
access the books on your mobile devices.

More and more stories are becoming available to iPad users.
A limited number of Oxford Graded Readers are now available
for these mobile devices. They’re a little pricy for what
you get, but the books have proven appeal with EFL learners.
You can search for them in the iTunes store (search for
Oxford Bookworms) or read more about them at this post:

If you or your learners have iPads, you really should
explore some of the new interactive stories that have been
made for that device. Technology is allowing stories to
become more interactive, often challenging our idea of what
a story is. Here are some of my favorites recently (
thoroughly tested by my two daughters) with my comments in
The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore (Simply
gorgeous! Suitable for HS or Jr HS learners) Roxie’s Doors
(An interactive lift-the-flap book; not much story, but fun
to play with; suitable for younger learners)
Treasure Kai (A branching story about a treasure-hunting boy
; suitable for HS or Jr HS learners) Scribblenauts (OK, this
is not really a story in the
traditional sense, but a game where the player is in charge
and has to ask for things needed to solve puzzles or fix
situations. You type in what you want and the image appears
in the game. Simply amazing! It goes where your imagination
and vocab/spelling skills will take you. This app is
suitable for any learner of any age past the beginner level).

And now for sounds. SoundCloud is a site aimed mostly at
musicians, but it makes delivering audio to users very easy.
You upload to the site and then embed the audio in your blog
or web page. You can save your audio in one of nine formats.
You also can access it from SoundCloud. If you are
interested in audio possibilities this is a good place to
check out. They also have apps for recording and working
with audio on your iPad, iPhone, PC, or Mac.

For something even easier, there is Vocaroo. A very simple
interface allows you to record voice messages and then
either download them in wav, mp3, ogg, or FLAC formats, or
share them (Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail) or embed them.

Well, that’s it for this month. See you next time.