Making Reading a Habit with Interactive Books

BOOKRClass | 2021.07.30

Reading aloud to children at an early age is the most effective way to boost their imagination, expand their vocabulary, and improve their comprehension and emotional intelligence.

making reading a habit

Later on, children who have developed strong reading skills perform better in school and are more confident. They are more likely to become lifelong learners and sought-after employees. Reading also expands children’s understanding of the world and how they can cope with difficulties, challenges, as well as differences between people, ideas, and cultures.

This is why it’s crucial to include reading in our everyday lives in all stages of childhood: when children are provided with enjoyable texts and related activities, reading will be seen as a treat, not a chore. 

As the popularity of digital devices grows, the impact of new technological media on the young population is indisputable. Available sources of media content have multiplied and the range of mass media “storytellers” has expanded, which affect young children’s reading habits, and the way they listen to stories.

Kids read less than ever before. Therefore, studies have shown that they are likely to have more text interpretation and reading comprehension problems. It is the creators’, publishers’, developers’, researchers’, and education experts’ responsibility to identify and develop new potential 21st century educational strategies that support better reading education.

BOOKR Kids’ reading apps help achieve this goal by presenting storybooks in a new, more engaging format while also building on contemporary children’s literature and illustration trends.

As BOOKR Kids’ digital e-books can be used in both traditional and alternative learning environments, they are perfect for preserving the well-established and building new reading and storytelling traditions. 

Interactive e-books facilitate the connection between the reader and the story, which results in a deeper and more profound experience. Displaying stories with still and moving images, BOOKR apps aim to teach reading and inspire even the youngest users to learn different types and levels of both verbal and visual language.

bookrclass application

BOOKR is designed for teachers by teachers. To help children reach their full potential, BOOKR follows a methodology proven effective through research. We design the texts and activities to be used both for individual use or instructed learning in a classroom setting or beyond.  Besides the text itself and the narration, the illustrations and animations support the understanding of the texts, but they don’t distract the readers from it.

This combination of reliable and quality scaffolding is a great advantage, especially for learners who need more help or require more assistance in the cognitive processes. The educational games at the end of each story allow further improvement, for example with comprehension checks and the practice of linguistic elements in a focused, yet entertaining way.

Empirical research conducted in 2019 by the Ministry of Education in Hungary in partnership with Eötvös Loránd University, University of Szeged, and Corvinus University has shown that BOOKR Kids’ interactive books that offer new language, visual, communication and performative qualities, among others, can sustain the attention of the recipient in the long run and can be successfully incorporated into the process of child-rearing, education, and self-improvement.

The studies were conducted with kindergarten-aged children with average abilities and hard of hearing children and their educators who mediated the tales. 

Results:

  • Students working with BOOKR interactive books were, on average, 15-20% more successful in various aspects of reading and comprehension than those reading from print books only.
  • Multimedia elements that appear automatically improve children’s reading comprehension and word learning (especially for at-risk children).
  • Nonverbal information clarifies the abstract language of the story.
  • Disadvantaged groups of children might be even more sensitive to these benefits;
  • Better recall with the help of animated vs. static illustrations (children recalled more content words and more story points);
  • More focus on the parts in motion in the animated vs. in the static illustrations.
  • Elements in motion attract children’s attention.
  • If elements that are central to the story are highlighted with the help of motion, animation can contribute to children’s comprehension.
book class statistics

BOOKR Class platform concept

Storytelling for kids in English is more important than ever, which is why we at BOOKR Kids have created the new generation of graded readers. BOOKR Class is the ultimate tool to teach and improve English language learning: an easy-to-use gamified library application for students, coupled with a teacher’s dashboard displaying real-time statistics. The following paragraphs will present the most important features of the BOOKR solution.

3-in-1 solution

BOOKR Class Library App for Students

  • Safe Learning Environment

Ad-free application with thoroughly researched content by educators, children literature experts and psychologists. Accessible on mobile devices, computers, online and offline.

  • Engaged Students

Improve reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and social-emotional skills – thanks to 1000+ beautifully animated books, interactive games and flashcards.

library app for students

Online Teacher’s Dashboard for Teachers

where teachers can

  • follow learners’ reading performance,
  • browse and assign books,
  • download extra materials:
  • flashcards,
  • activity tips,
  • and worksheets
teachers dashboard

BOOKR Classroom App

  • In your classroom & online
  • Present books and games in entertaining and interactive ways
  • remotely or in-class through:
  • screen share,
  • interactive board
  • or projector.
bookr class english teaching app

Multimedia Features of the Interactive Books

interactive books

Illustration

BOOKR is aware that vision is our most important sense, particularly in one’s childhood, and that the skill of “reading” pictures develops from the very beginning of our lives.

Understanding images and connecting them to words that we hear helps the development of comprehension as well as language-production skills. Therefore, to facilitate the development of our readers, the provision of high-quality input is one of our major concerns.

A good illustration not only establishes the atmosphere of a story and depicts the topic but also makes the characters come alive, thus laying the foundations for contextual, organic and incidental learning. The aim of illustrations at more basic levels is to facilitate comprehension, e.g. the reader can grasp the context of the story more easily.

At these levels, illustrations are designed according to a concept-based approach. The characters have distinctive features which are often symbolic and composed of larger, contrasting elements. As the skills of the learners develop, the graphics become richer, more detailed, more complex and sometimes even metaphoric.

These features are in line with the descriptive features of the literature illustrated besides offering authentic cultural and historical depictions.

Our young and talented illustrators were raised on traditional illustrations while with their modern approach they are part of the contemporary graphic world. They are able to attract the young generation while respecting the well-established principles of illustrating.

Animation and Zooming

The movement of some of the images in our interactive books catches the eye of the reader and develops comprehension skills without drawing too much attention away from the linguistic features of the story. There is a great balance between entertainment and scaffolding, meaning that the illustration, animation and sound effects make the book more engaging and more easily comprehensible at the same time.

The animation is synchronized with the narration, therefore facilitates understanding due to their close temporal contiguity. The presence of the animation, the text and its narration rely on the theory of dual coding – comprehension occurs more easily than with one single input and some kind of decoration. Zooming highlights the main elements mentioned in the narration which helps in the identification process. It draws the readers’ attention and helps make sense of the text. 

Narration

Narration by professional voice-over artists facilitates the improvement of oral language comprehension skills and the acquisition of pronunciation. The presentation of different accents, especially in the books which are about a particular area or country help – improve listening skills and intercultural communicative skills.

Text Highlighting

ext highlighting draws the reader’s attention to the expressions and clauses being read and helps the reader follow along at the same pace as the narrator. The highlighting helps the understanding of sentences as it divides the longer structures into more comprehensible units.

Text highlighting can be turned off in case the division of sentences is disturbing or unnecessary.

Educational Games

The accompanying age-relevant and fun-to-do games are created by teachers with a playful layout and encouraging feedback to motivate learners. Besides global comprehension checks, many activities are included to improve reading for specific information and games to make sure students understand stylistically different elements.

Grammar- and vocabulary-focused games provide practice of specific topics and structures, but there are activities that support the improvement of communicative skills, pronunciation, logic and a wide variety of other 21st century soft and cognitive skills, as well. 

Interactive Features

  • Hotspots
  • Games (Gamification)
  • Dictionary
  • Photo gallery

Supporting Materials for Teachers

  • Classroom materials to facilitate teacher success;
  • Reporting tools to help teachers and administrators monitor and assess student performance;
  • Supplemental educational resources including teacher guides, recommended classroom or project activities, visual support materials and worksheets.

The Curriculum of BOOKR Class

  • World-famous stories in English, adapted to the linguistic needs of language learners, from beginner to intermediate levels (recommended age group: 4-14);
  • Contemporary nonfiction and fiction stories written for language learning and reading comprehension development purposes;
  • Educational games and exercises (spelling, vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, grammar and chunks, reading comprehension, useful expressions, mazes, coloring, puzzles, and other fun games to support cognitive development as well as language acquisition);
  • BOOKR is in partnership with Oxford University Press to provide classic world literature in the form of graded readers for young learners (The Jungle Book, Around the World in Eighty Days, Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz, etc.).
bookr class library

Leveling

The online library is divided into six proficiency levels which are adapted to specific age groups. Therefore, each category is based on the interests and preferences of the given age group as well as their needs as language learners.

The linguistic needs were established based on the linguistic proficiency levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), but other aspects (for example Lexile Measure) and classroom experiences were also taken into account.

BOOKR Level Recommended age group Recommended CEFR level Recommended proficiency level
Level 1 3-8 pre-A1 Beginner – basic vocabulary, grammar and skills need to be established and developed.

Very basic items and structures in chunks; short and simple sentences; coherent texts; reading comprehension development.

Level 2 6-10 pre-A1
Level 3 8-12 A1
Level 4 10-14 A2 Elementary – more language-focused games, more conscious use of competences and skills.
Level 5 12-16 B1 Independent language user – a basic knowledge of English; to improve their vocabulary, grammar and skills; emphasis on the everyday use of English and on topics related to culture, travel and mobility.
Level 6 14-16 B2 Intermediate – capable of understanding original texts and their message, implicit content, humour, sarcasm. This level focuses mainly on the civilization and culture of English-speaking countries, especially the UK and USA.

Additional pedagogical-methodological elements

  • Differentiation:

The app allows several ways of organizing teaching and learning techniques (paired work, small group work, cooperative learning organizing procedures), and also offers a wide range of content, so the teacher is able to assign books on different levels with similar language focus.

  • Enhancing opportunities:

Interactive books allow the educator to incorporate the differences in learning abilities in the classroom and mitigate socioeconomic and socio-cultural disadvantages. Simultaneously, the still images and motion pictures inspire them to implement visual reading as a part of their literature lessons.

  • Unity of concretes and abstractions:

BOOKR Kids’ app allows for making even abstract parts of the classes entertaining and activity-oriented for children, determining learning outcomes based on psychological development.

  • Competency-based learning:

We use assessment tools (like Lexile Leveling in BOOKR Class) in order to make learners move from one learning level to the next higher level based on their demonstration of knowledge rather than based on time spent on a specific level.

bookr class app stats
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