Multilingual Listening Library:

Using Yoto audio players to support all students

Julianne Bramwell, Wilder Elementary, Springfield, MO

Multilingual Listening Library:

Introduction

Three second-grade classrooms offered their students access to a multilingual listening library. The main objective of this project was to promote the use of home languages and encourage English language acquisition.

This project had two primary goals:

  • To provide students with frequent access to multilingual and multicultural texts.
  • To demonstrate a positive model for language acquisition.

This project allowed English Learners (ELs) to engage in literacy activities in multiple languages. The listening library is designed to include a variety of languages and cultures to help ensure all students are represented. By utilizing this library, students will be able to use both of their languages in literacy activities and feel a deeper sense of belonging within the classroom.

Step-by-Step Plan

Set-Up

  • Order Yoto audio players and supplies.
  • Organize the supplies in a way that fits your needs. My team designated one classroom to house all of the supplies.
  • Use the Yoto app or website to register and set up the Yotos.
  • Gather volunteers to record themselves reading the books to promote family engagement. These volunteers may include families, teachers, and community members. 
  • Share information about the recording process. You may use the included recording guide to support volunteer readers.
  • Launch the listening library once you have all the books recorded.

Using the Library

  • Teach students the expectations and how to use the audio players – (turn on the Yoto, changing the language, changing the volume, etc.).
  • Allow students to utilize the library as needed.


Timeline

Timeline

  • Summer – order supplies
  •  Back-to-school time – Recruit volunteers to record themselves reading the books. 
  • Early fall – Teach listening library expectations and start reading rotations.
  • Ongoing – Monitor student progress throughout the year to evaluate language acquisition and keep a list of titles that you hope to add to the library in the future.

Budget

1 - Yoto Player Per Classroom
Milo Imagines the World Multilingual Yoto card 1
Love Multilingual Yoto Card 1
Make Your Own Yoto Cards (pack of 10) 30
Yoto Mini Adventure Jacket Per Yoto 3
Yoto Case Per Yoto 3
100 pcs 11x14 Plastic Resealable Bags 1
Really Good Stuff Library Bins with Dividers 1
5 Jack Multi Headphone Audio Splitter 2
Grandpa Across the Ocean by Hyewon Yum
A Welcome in Axum: A Brief History of the Land of Justice in Amharic and English by Jane Kurtz
A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios
A Sari for Ammi by Mamta Nainy
A Feast for Joseph by Terry Farish
A Bear for Bimi by Jane Beskin Zalben
Los animales no se dormian/The Animals Would Not Sleep by Sara Levine
Okapi Loves His Zebra Pants by Terri Tatchell
Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis
Spanish Is My Superpower by Jennifer Jones
I Need a Hug/Necesito un abrazo by Aaron Blabey
Love by Matt de le Pena
Amor by Matt de la Pena
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena
Milo imagina el mundo by Matt de la Pena
Lingo Dingo and the Chef who Spoke Hindi by Mark Pallis
The Fabulous Lost and Found and the Little Mouse who Spoke Hindi by Mark Pallis
Finding Freedom: A Ukrainian Tale of Home by Maryna Kariuk
Burmese Children’s Favorite Stories: Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales by Pascal Khoo Thwe
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel
Brown is Beautiful: A Poem of Self-Love by Supriya Kelkar
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
Do You Speak Fish by DJ Corchin
3 copies of each title

What did it look like?

Sustainability

One of the most exciting things about this project is that it has the potential to continue for many years to come. The listening library provides a way for multilingual students to interact with stories in their home languages. The project supplies reflect a variety of languages and experiences that are culturally relevant for students. Once the library is fully established, there is little upkeep which helps ensure that classrooms can use it long term. It can also be built upon as student populations grow and change. Teachers can continue adding new books and audio recordings to the listening library as appropriate.

Reflections

The use of these audio players has been one of the most rewarding routines established in my classroom this year. When I first taught the students how to use the YOTO and shared that books would be read in other languages, they were very enthusiastic. One student was so happy to hear about the Spanish language books that he exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, finally! I am so excited!” While this project is intensive, the outcome is extraordinary for the students. It reinforces the importance of multiliteracy in the classroom as my ELs were able to engage in literacy activities in a variety of languages.

The biggest challenge was recording all of the books. Initially, I hoped to order pre-recorded books in multiple languages. However, those selections were unavailable at the time of purchase. This posed a challenge as I suddenly had to find ways to record books in a language I did not speak. Ultimately, parents offered to record books in their home languages. In the future, I hope to order additional pre-recorded books directly from the YOTO website to avoid the time-consuming recording process for volunteers.

For other teachers, I recommend recording a practice book to better understand how the Yoto app works. I recommend allowing students to complete activities with the books in multiple languages as well. I found success in allowing students to complete a written response in their home languages first followed by English.

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