The website www.starfall.com.
I am a teacher at a school out in the countryside in the south of Sweden. I teach English in grade three, four and five and I have used this website “Starfall” with my pupils. I found the website two years ago when I had been at an English day for teachers at Linnéuniversitetet in Växjö. They showed us the website “Språklänkportalen” and there I found “Starfall”.
It is easy for the pupils to use this website. They understand fast how to use it. I have used the website with the whole class at the same time and the pupils work at different levels of course. Starfall has four levels: ABCDs, Learn to read, It´s fun to read, I´m reading. In grade three they start with the level ABCDs to learn the letters and the sounds. There are pictures and a story to each letter.
In the level “I´m reading” you can read or listen to different books. There are for example comics, Folk tales and Greek Myths. There are also some books, “Talking library”, with much more text in them, which is good for pupils who can read English texts quite well. These books are good for pupils in grade four and five. The pupils can read the book themselves or they can listen to the whole book or some parts. They can also listen to some words they don´t know how to pronounce.
There are also a lot of games for every different level. The pupils in grade three and four like the games but in grade five some pupils think they are too childish. There are also songs and rhymes, which are fun to do together. There are also some math’s exercises. One thing I don´t like with the website is that” the voices” are always very young children. It is good to know that they talk in American English.
I have also used this website for pupils who have big problems learning English. They like it very much and they manage to work with the website on their own.
Today a lot of pupils learn a lot of English in their spare time. They listen to music, play computer games, and talk to other children in English when they play WoW and so on. But on the other hand there are some children who only practice English in school and it is not enough I think. I have given those children some examples of websites that are easy and fun for them so they can practice some English in their spare time too. Starfall is one of them.
Starfall was made by Stephen Schutz. He had big problems learning to read and so he wanted to help children with a fun way to learn English. The website is recommended by “National Institute of Child Health and Human Development” and there are pages for teachers and parents. The website was created for young children in the US but it works well for pupils who learn English as foreign language.
Now when I am just going to publish my paper I see that someone else already have write about “starfall”!!!!!