Reading materials for the MFL classroom

This selection of foreign language children's books has proven useful in the MFL classroom. Although they are clearly intended for young native speakers of the target language, the language and structures make them ideal for use as authentic reading materials, and each time we travel abroad we will be looking for new additions to the collection.

Der Grüffelo

Julia Donaldson

A classic for today's young readers, this German version highlights the complexities of translating a well-known rhyming text into a foreign language. The translator has managed to retain the character of the piece but non-native readers will quickly find that the grammar and vocabulary is more suited to GCSE and A-level students than younger children. For students studying translation, a direct comparison of the texts can prove most interesting - "A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood" becomes "Die Maus spazierte im Wald umher" - the rhythm and rhyme of the piece is retained, but the German wood is neither deep nor dark.

Où est mon poney?


The extensive series of Usborne books whose titles begin "That's not my ..." is well known to parents and children alike. The clear, tactile pages offer a wide range of adjectives and once translated into French promote an awareness of the negative, gender and adjective agreement - ("Ce n'est pas mon poney, ses taches sont trop soyeuses"). A suitable follow-up activity would be for students to produce their own version using a range of adjectives.

Où est bébé tigre?

Gallimard Jeunesse

Featuring sounds and "lift-the-flap" sections, this book is aimed at very young children yet its language is ideal for students in their first year of learning a foreign language. This particular book, one of a series, tells the story of baby tiger who has gone missing. As we help look for him around the house and garden we encounter a range of vocabulary and in particular prepositions ("Est-il sous les feuilles?"). Students could produce their own children's book in a similar style.

Mein erstes Buch ...


Ideal for expanding German vocabulary, these books each focus on a theme (Farben, Meer, Jahreszeiten, Bauernhof, Tiere ...) and introduce new material at both word and sentence level. The detail below is from the book "Mein erstes Buch zur Guten Nacht".

Students could then take a vocabulary area and produce their own books using these as a model. Also available in French, published by Kididoc.

If you would like to arrange a hands-on training session at your school, perhaps in a department meeting, please contact us or complete the form below.