Editorial
THE BRITISH COUNCIL IN SPAIN (DIGITAL LIBRARY)

##Four animated shorts to refresh your children’s English in the summer.

The British Council opens the doors of its Digital Library and also offers families the keys to accompany and encourage their children’s learning of the language.

If selected and used in an appropriate way, videos, short films and cartoons contribute, over time, to a better acquisition and production of the English language.

Those interested in having free access to the contents and tips selected by the experts of this institution should visit the website www.britishcouncil.es/ingles/aprender-online/verano.

The British Council, the United Kingdom’s organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, opens the doors of the Digital Library to offer a selection of animated videos and short films, as well as tips for children in kindergarten and primary school to refresh their English in the summer in an entertaining way.

According to British Council education experts, this type of content promotes listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition, when used appropriately over time. In addition, the use of cartoons and audiovisuals according to each developmental stage can also have a positive impact on the pronunciation of the youngest children, as it allows them to accommodate their ears to the characteristic rhythms of English. Once they have internalized them, they are able to reproduce them naturally and instinctively.

These are the audiovisual titles selected by the British Council librarians for children aged 2 to 11:
Fun in the sun. A perfect resource for pre-schoolers to remember vocabulary about the seasons through fun characters who talk to the birds, dance in the sun, greet the rain and drink lemonade in the summer.

How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. This animated story for children in kindergarten brings together large doses of humour, visual appeal and, above all, didactics. This short film is also a good reflection of how love is shown in the animal kingdom.

The dancing frog. Young Gertrude is not at her best. Suddenly, she meets George, a dancing frog who, thanks to his talent, soon becomes a star of international fame. This animated story for primary school children narrates the adventures of the two protagonists in their travels around the world.

Litterbugs. A short film for primary school children that tells the story of Alice, a young inventor with a reserved nature, who overcomes a bullying situation with the help of Stanley, an enigmatic superhero with whom she ends up establishing a friendship.

Families interested in accessing these contents for free can visit the website www.britishcouncil.es/ingles/aprender-online/verano and subscribe to its English learning newsletters, from which they will gain access, in turn, to the Digital Library catalogue, consisting of 150,000 references and 3 million hours of culture in English.

In addition to the 30,000 film titles in Kanopy’s audiovisual archive, subscribers will have free access to international press, comics, electronic and academic books, on-demand concerts and training courses.

Learning English with audiovisual content

As a pedagogical complement to this selection of open content, its teaching experts provide four keys that families can take into account to support and encourage their children’s learning in English through videos, cartoons or movies.

Age. Cartoons or any television content are not recommended until children reach an age between 18 and 24 months, according to organizations such as the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children’s brains at this age do not interpret the images broadcast as representing real objects, and this consumption can affect their memory and language development. Therefore, the priority at such early ages is for children to interact with the objects and people around them, so that they can learn from them as direct sources.

Interaction. Once they reach the appropriate age, children begin to understand audiovisual content and use this knowledge to communicate. Of course, it is necessary that we accompany them during the viewing so that they feel safe and that we ask them questions about it in a relaxed way so that they learn to organize and express their ideas. It is also very effective to leave the couch and get into action with mime activities, dancing to the sound of the drawings and with painting or staging activities based on their theme or characters.

Your English. You, as a parent or guardian, are the most important teacher your child can have, as you are his or her reference and source of inspiration. Therefore, having a positive attitude towards learning English will also act as a spur, regardless of your child’s level of English and pronunciation. The important thing is that you approach this process together, even if it sometimes means looking up words in the dictionary or having your child correct you.

Patience. This is one of the skills that mothers and fathers put in shape the most, and it is also applicable to learning English. The repetition of the viewing that children insist on so much is good for their memory and language acquisition. So is establishing a routine of 15 minutes a day to watch this type of content and then doing activities afterwards, such as playing or singing, in which they can give free rein to what they have learned.

About the British Council
The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
Its mission is to build connections, understanding and trust between citizens of the UK and other countries, through arts and culture, education and the English language. In Spain, the work of the British Council began more than 80 years ago, in the summer of 1940. Since then, every year it generates educational and cultural opportunities that transform the lives of thousands of Spaniards.

Report by 24/7 Valencia team

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