Oxford, United Kingdom (PRWEB UK) 23 May 2012
As the first English Language Teaching publisher to offer Graded Readers as apps, Oxford University Press is offering students a new way to continue their English language studies outside of the classroom. To coincide with celebrations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday on May 22nd, the publisher has released a walkthrough video guiding users through The Hound of the Baskervilles app on the iPad.
Oxford University Press (OUP) has enjoyed global success with their Oxford Bookworms series, a collection of Graded Readers popular for extending reading with English students. By releasing these stories as apps, OUP is looking to help learners improve their English in a less traditional way. Users can enjoy reading and listening to a wide range of famous stories including the exciting Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The apps allow users to view colour illustrations and test their vocabulary using interactive quizzes.
Research by extensive reading experts such as Professor Richard Day, Chair & Co-Founder of the Extensive Reading Foundation, shows that reading stories at, or just below a student’s language level is one of the most effective ways of improving students’ English. Native English speakers typically encounter 7 million words in one year, but learners who only hear English inside the classroom encounter a much small number – around 10,000. Reading outside of the classroom can help learners of English come into contact with over a million words in a year, improving their fluency and their English faster.
“Our stories are written or adapted for learners so they can read famous stories in English. It’s incredible motivating for a student to discover they can read stories such as the Sherlock Holmes stories in English. By making the stories available as apps we open them up to students who prefer using mobile devices to reading a book,” says Harriet Seymour, Marketing Manager for Readers at Oxford University Press. “With the app, students can listen and read at the same time, which will really help their English.”
All 30 stories are narrated by native speaker actors, a decision taken to ensure listening to the story is enjoyable and easy to understand. Everything in the app has been tailored for ease of use. Students can bookmark their page if they want to stop reading, and pick up the story and audio from the same point when they return. Certain words are highlighted, students simply tap these in order to learn their meaning, and a scrollable glossary makes it easy to search for words. Testing comes via a fun interactive quiz which students can use to check their vocabulary.
Each of the 30 apps comes with unique colour illustrations which serve to help students understand key points in the narrative and break up text. A Gallery is included to bring together all illustrations and captions, so students can review this as they chose. Every app includes information about the author, providing students with the opportunity for further learning.
OUP’s decision to make these stories available as apps is in keeping with their mission to further education and spread knowledge.The apps were developed in partnership with iEnglish, an experienced software developer based in Japan. Sorrel Pitts, Editorial Manager at Oxford University Press says, “Together we have exploited the opportunity an app presents to give learners of English full and easy access to reading and listening to great stories, and learning whenever they want.”
The Oxford Bookworms apps offer six levels of Readers, from Stage 1 through to Stage 6 with stories to appeal to a range of interests. The thirty titles include some of the great Sherlock Holmes tales including, Sherlock Holmes and the Sport of Kings, and Sherlock Holmes and the Duke’s Son, all-time best sellers such as Dracula and The Elephant Man, popular classics such as Alice in Wonderland and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and modern stories including Dead Man’s Island and Chemical Secret.
Oxford Bookworms for the iPhone or iPod touch and for the iPad are available now for £5.49 from the App Store
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Elephant Man
Phantom of the Opera
Sherlock Holmes and The Duke’s Son
Sherlock Holmes and The Sport of Kings
The Wizard of Oz
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Anne of Green Gables
The Canterville Ghost
The Children of the New Forest
Dead Man’s Island
The Jungle Book
A Christmas Carol
The Call of the Wild
The Picture of Dorian Grey
The Prisoner of Zenda
The Railway Children
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Through the Looking Glass
Hound of the Baskervilles
The Thirty-Nine Steps
Pride and Prejudice
About Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press, with a wide global reach. It currently publishes more than 6,000 new publications a year, has a presence in around fifty countries, and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.
To find out more about Oxford University Press please visit http://www.oup.com. To find out more about Oxford Bookworms Library please visit http://www.oup.com/elt/bookworms. For any media enquiries about the Bookworms apps, or to request a promo version of an app, please contact samantha(dot)novak(at)oup(dot)com