We first started developing Talking Stories in 2005, to provide reading support for children in South African primary schools. Sets of interactive e-books with activities were developed for Grades 1, 2 and 3. The e-books have voice support; highlighting of text at the early levels and translations in four languages. Fun activities with audio instructions touch on the entire breadth of the language curriculum in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
Over 500 schools in South Africa, as well as a large number of libraries, have purchased the Talking Stories to use on PCs, laptops and interactive whiteboards.
Broad-based testing (2000 children in 13 test schools and 13 control schools) has indicated a 71% improvement in the pace of reading acquisition in schools where the Talking Stories were used to support literacy teaching.
Now we are launching our BRAND NEW mobile version!
This means that children everywhere will be able to access a library of 256 stories (64 stories x 4 languages) on their cell phones or tablets. They will also be able to access three years' worth of language curriculum activities.
Talking Stories can add sparkle to Interactive Whiteboard lessons:
By using Talking Stories on interactive whiteboards, the children at Bridgeville Primary School have doubled the pace of reading acquisition. These Grade 1 children speak English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa at home. Since the Talking Stories are available in all three languages, their teacher uses the software to provide a bridge from home language to the language of instruction in the classroom. Children hear the story in their home language (with the lovely home language voice support) to build meaning. Then they transfer to the language of instruction to learn to read and to participate in the interactive literacy games and activities for whole class learning.