Do you know your ELGs from your EYFS? How Mantra Lingua can help Early Years Literacy

While literacy isn’t the only area of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) where Mantra Lingua’s products can help with Early Learning Goals, one of our specialist areas is storytelling, in all its forms.

How can Mantra Lingua help in the Early Years Foundation Stages?

Literacy is a lifelong skill: it’s the key to many other subjects, and essential for educational, social and, later on, career development. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the EYFS curriculum gives so much emphasis to Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in this area.

Government guidance mandates that children should be taught to read, to listen, to tell their own stories, and to write their own stories. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be stories – it could be poems or non-fiction work, or drama. The key message is that children should have access to a wide range of reading materials that can spark their interest.

Why use Mantra Lingua resources to support literacy teaching?

With their bright, lively illustrations, our picture books offer a perfect place to start. All of our books can be PENpal-enabled – PENpal is an ultra-versatile device that allows learners and educators to bring posters, stickers, classroom displays, stories and so much more to life through the medium of sound.

PENpal can also help with listening skills: children can record their own voices and then play them back, or educators can record words and encourage children to listen. While PENpal uses .mp3 files and soundspots (in the form of micro barcodes) to add the aural dimension, you don’t need to worry about the technical aspects – we have free downloadable software to help you. The stickers for the PENpal can also be reused many times.

Learning through play

Learning through play is one of the major themes of the EYFS. Mantra Lingua products support educational goals but we firmly believe that learning should be fun. This applies whether you’re listening to a story, enjoying the pictures, or using some of our unique products like the Kamishibai storytelling theatre. It also applies whether English is the first language (L1) for pupils, or whether you are helping those who have English as Another Language (EAL).  

What about EAL learners?

It’s been shown many times that the most effective way of learning something new is to relate it to what we already know - so if your first language isn’t English, hearing a story first in your mother tongue can help with comprehension and vocabulary. Using this approach can also help build confidence, and you can choose one of our many sound-enabled print books, or an ebook, either individual or from the very reasonably priced Kitabu e-library of titles. Individual books are also available. 

Mantra Lingua specialises in bilingual books for children, which are also sometimes referred to as dual language books or even parallel texts. We publish familiar stories, old and new, retellings of well-known tales with a twist, and original works in dozens of languages. The 2017 EYFS documents also acknowledge the importance of home languages other than English, and the role which culture plays in education, and many of our titles have main characters and situations from world cultures.
All of our books have associated sound files, which you can download free of charge. If you prefer, you can also record your own voice telling a story, or that of a familiar caregiver, or concentrate on particular vocabulary or familiar words like personal names.

Are there any other ways PENpal can be used?

PENpal has many more applications beyond simple storytelling. You could also use the device to label work boxes, coat hooks, desks and other items by name or by pupil name; to ensure accurate identification of plants being grown in the school garden; and to enliven posters and classroom displays, to name just a few other uses. PENpal can also help where there are SEN issues, by making the environment more accessible and user-friendly - we always love to hear about the imaginative ways that PENpal is supporting education. 

Further Reading and References

Unless otherwise stated, all references were accessed successfully on 9 August 2019.