What's New

Talking Pictures? Whatever Next? Tactile Menus From Mantra Lingua, That's What...

It's been a busy few months at Mantra Lingua. (Not that we're ever not busy, but we've been as busy as busy buzzy bees and bird-like creatures recently.) So what, might you ask, is it that's kept us all occupied? Well, we've been hard at work putting new events and new products together - including our exciting tactile menus.

In a world that's designed so much for navigation by the sighted, being visually impaired can make simple, joyful events like choosing a meal or having a nice day out rather more difficult and less accessible than they should be. Sound and touch become much more important - and our tactile menus, maps and charts combine the two, to help bring the world closer and, hopefully, make it make more sense too. 

Back in the spring of 2019, we worked with the East Anglia Sailing Trust to design, devise and produce the first tactile, sound-enabled maps in the world, to help blind and visually impaired sailors get the most out of their trips to sea. Now, we're delighted to announce our tactile talking menus. Using our PENpal or PENfriend technology you can record and playback details of ingredients, options, allergen advice, instructions, and so much more, in English, or another language of your choice, or both, so they're a great option for bilingual homes and bilingual classrooms too. Each soundspot can hold up to 60 minutes of audio. 

Like to find out more about how the Tactile Menus, Tactile Maps, Tactile Charts and other resources work? See for yourself with our short and sweet YouTube mini-tutorial

Bilingual Books on the Bookstart list

You know how much we love stories, and you know how much we love language. You probably also know how much we love sharing our love of both, in all kinds of formats and settings. So we're delighted to announce that two of our new bilingual titles for 2019, "Errol's Garden" and "Quiet", are going to feature in the next Bookstart programme. (Bookstart Week was renamed Pyjamarama in summer 2019.)

Bookstart is one of the long-standing programmes on offer from BookTrust, and free books are given away to every child in England and Wales at two crucial key stages before they start school. If you'd like to know more about the programme, Bookstart has helpful information for both caregivers and Early Years practitioners

You can find out more about all of our titles and products in our autumn 2019 catalogue.

 

About Us

Check out the new visualisation that defines us. Instead of reading pages, this simple animation will give you a clear picture of what Mantra Lingua is about. We do not just publish bilingual books. Our biggest division is the PENfriend that services the Blind and Partially sighted world market.
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Catalogue

Our new e-catalogue is different. Instead of listing all our products, we list typical questions teachers and TAs ask. We help by suggesting which product could help resolve those questions.
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"The Gruffalo" Story Prop for Text-free Story Telling

'Wordless Books' is a growing genre where readers are able to express what they see in their own words, in their own language. 
Our story Props (kamishibai) range is growing since it is particularly suited for multi-lingual classes. This group, rather than individual, activity takes only pictures from familiar picture books and the group performs the story telling in their own words. 
"The Gruffalo" by Julia Donalson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is one of the best known picture books this century, It is now available as 17 picture cards, with no text,  for group story telling with the Kamishibai stage. 
One suggestion is that the teacher tells the story as it unfurls, card by card, in their own words. The audience are encouraged to participate and the teacher often pauses to ask questions. In multi-lingual classses pupils are encourage to speak in their home language if English is new to them. In fact, Gruffalo can be used as a tool to teach Modern Foreign Languages. 
The end effect is a dynamic story telling experience, with audience participation, which changes each time the story is retold!!

Other Story Prop cards are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mungo Makes New Friends, Musicians of Bremen, and plenty more to energise the classroom. 
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How to Draw a Horse Workshop for those with Dementia

Fabulous illustrator Jill Newton (Mungo Makes New Friends, Sports Day in the Jungle, Keeping Up With Cheetah) has been taking Mungo round the world! On a recent trip to the USA, Jill ran a workshop exploring creativity and making for those with dementia. Using simple resources, all participants in the workshop were able to recreate Mungo in their own way - and had a great time doing it!

Drawing characters from books is a fantastic was to encourage engagement and participation for anyone of any age. Mungo Makes New Friends comes with a selection of great resources that can support workshops, class activities or fun at home.

Find Jill's 'How to draw a horse' worksheet and much more by clicking the link.
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Mantra Lingua at Sandwell EAL Professional Development Day 2019

Mantra Lingua will be discussing new developments in EAL technology at Sandwell's 2019 EAL Professional Development Day on 28th March!

Featured technology includes:
  • ClassroomPEN with Bluetooth Speaker for language amplification and learning with benefits for Home language attrition, English Language Development, MFL and SEN
  • Kitabu - Dual Language ebooks for Families and use on whiteboards. Share over 550 ebooks in 38 languages for Family English Language development and SEN
  • Mobile1st EAL Course Builder provides bite sized specialist EAL courses for mobile that includes Language sharing. We are looking for education partners to assist in generating exciting and informative content for this service coming soon.

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Sound Enabled, Tactile Coastal Maps

The East Anglia Sailing Trust contacted us to create sound enabled, tactile coastal maps for their sailing trips with visually impaired (VI) and blind sailors. Able to participate in all other aspects of the boat, VI sailors could were not able to assist in charting the course of the boat or ‘visualising’ the shape of the coastline from 2D charts.

These maps are the first of their kind in the world (and sea!). Our tactile layer defines coastlines, sand bars, tributaries and significant crossings. With PENpal technology, areas of note on the map contain and play back audio for interest and information. The maps allow VI and blind sailors to participate during a sailing trip in a way that has never been possible before.

With summer approaching, we wish the amazing VI sailors Bon Voyage! And look forward to catching up with them soon!

Mantra Lingua can bring paper to life with PENpal AND tactile technology. Artwork, documents, maps, posters and even solid objects can be made accessible and inclusive in creative and innovate ways. Get in touch and let’s discuss how your projects could be more accessible for everyone.

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Mungo Makes New Friends - English and Polish version

NEW BOOK! Mungo Makes New Friends

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Written by ex EAL Scottish teacher Gill Aitchison, and beautifully illustrated by Jill Newton, Mungo Makes New Friends is a book set in the Scottish Highlands. Join Mungo in his lonely field as he is surprised by new friends!
As the seasons change, Mungo’s new friends must go on a great adventure to keep up with him as he travels to his winter stable.

This story will resonate with any newcomer and with extensive teacher’s notes, this title is rich in modality and resources: ebooks and dual language books with spoken languages, Kamishibai Storytelling Theatre and Kamishibai Story Props for self expression, role-playing and translanguaging.

A book filled with friendship, sharing and suspense, sure to be loved by children and adults alike.

Watch the video to meet author Gill Aitchison and illustrator Jill Newton.
 
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Mantra Lingua at the TES SEN 2018 show, London!

Mantra Lingua were at theTES SEN Show 2018, showcasing new resources that enrich learning in diverse classrooms. Tactile Talking Books, Musical Play mats and Kamishibai Story telling Stage and Props, these all trigger children to respond with speech, action, and excitement. They are something totally new but easy. They can record their own voices in books, play mats and sticky labels- just watch them amazed at hearing their voices played back! Our Kitabu e-book library of over 550 titles is dyslexic friendly. Readers can enlarge the font and listen to the word highlighted text. Our approach is less through structured reading schemes but more towards the enjoyment of story-telling, video and games. Text is not the prime feature but works equally with audio and visuals, giving a multi-dimensional enjoyment of story telling and literacy.


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