We are Sheila Cartwright and Patricia Dempsey.
We live in Northumberland in the north east of England and started writing and producing animated stories way back in 2003 with the traditional tale of The Lambton Worm:
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
Aa’ll tell ye aall an aaful story,
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
An aa’ll tell ye aboot the worm.
We still speak Geordie, love languages, storytelling and using stories to learn languages.
We hope that our ever growing collection of stories, songs and poems in English, French, German and Spanish will fire up the imagination of young learners and set them en route to a lifelong interest in language learning.
Reviews from some of our subscribers...
Joanne Downing, Oxford Falls Grammar, Sydney, NSW, Australia
We have had a subscription for Little Red Languages for two years and find it a wonderful resource, particularly for children in Stage 1 and Stage 2, ages 5-8. We have also used the poetry section for Stage 3, ages 10-12, when we ran a poetry competition in the school. It is attractively presented and the children love engaging with the interactive activities in the stories.
The site can be used in all-class activities or individually, at home or school, so is very versatile. Native speakers are used for the stories which renders it useful for all teachers even those who are not confident in speaking the language. There is a wide range of resources to use for each story and these can be adapted to fit to any program. Our students particularly enjoy the stories centred on Easter and Christmas and they are a useful tool to use for these times of the year.
The creators of the site are open to new ideas and are willing to add resources that are useful and relevant.
We would recommend Little Red Languages as an affordable worthwhile tool for all infants/primary schools.
Ruth Allen, French and Spanish Peripatetic Teacher, South and West Yorkshire
I have been subscribing to this wonderful site for the last few years.
It enhances my language teaching and is particularly popular with my KS1 and lower KS2 children.
The stories are interactively told in various languages and are brilliantly illustrated. My pupils especially like spotting the various hidden objects and animals in the stories. As most of the stories are traditional tales, the children find them quite easy to understand and enjoy joining in and repeating various phrases. I try to tie in topics with the stories such as family and animals with ‘The Enormous Turnip’ story and ‘Je voudrais un animal’/’Quiero una mascota’ to reinforce animals and adjectives.
Fresh resources continue to be added giving children a great language learning experience.
I can wholly recommend subscribing to this great resource.
Julie Finnigan, Newsham Primary School, Blyth, Northumberland
I love teaching French through stories and songs and Little Red Languages is the ideal resource for this! So that every year group in Key Stage 2 has the opportunity to experience this wonderful website, various stories have been included on our French Long Term Plan.
For me, The Giant Turnip is an all time favourite and the seasonal stories/ calendars etc are very successful with the children. The various masks and puppets are a big hit even with our oldest children.
The amazing resources really make planning enjoyable and the use of native speakers give non-specialists such confidence too, as do the printable books. I would recommend Little Red Languages to all primary schools.
Lee-anne Gordon, Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim, Queensland, Australia
Thank you for the wonderful stories and accompanying resources.
They have been loved and enjoyed by all the students I work with.
The Easter egg story to teach colours and prepositions has been particularly fun with finding the chick on each page and the matching games. I look forward to the new and exciting stories you have planned!
Rob Curtis, Great Easton C of E (VA) Primary School, Essex
We’ve used Little Red Languages in class and for home learning. As a school we don’t set homework, but children are encouraged to do what we call SMART learning at home. The site is ideal for this as the stories can be enjoyed without teacher input, so the children can access them independently or with family.
It also allows them to access Spanish and German which we do not teach in school.
The use of native speakers means that non specialists can teach languages with confidence knowing that it is all being pronounced correctly. The use of well known stories makes the languages accessible to the children and they enjoy finding the hidden animals. We would recommend Little Red Languages to all primary schools, especially as it is such good value.
Anna Miquel Bono, The Pointer School, London
I have been using Little Red Languages stories for the last two and a half years in Pointer School for our French and Spanish teaching. The stories have different levels of difficulty and I am glad to say that from Nursery to Y6 it has been a success.
In Nursery the story 'Je Voudrais un Animal' is a classic that children are willing to see again and again in the third term when we learn words in French for animals.The videos are extremely useful as they are interactive and children can participate. In Year One we learn a lot of vocabulary through 'Petit Chaperon Rouge'. The story is a great support for our learning and the children enjoy with great excitement the three different endings for the wolf. They never get tired of watching it again and again. In Y2 we learn about food! The story 'Pique-niquons' is extremely refreshing for them after learning the essential vocabulary for food in French! In Y3 we go again through animals and then we watch 'Les Quatre Musiciens de Brême'. The diction is clear and understandable and you can also follow the text of the story. You can easily go forward and backwards and that makes the comprehension deeper. The children look forward to the Christmas Advent Calendar stories every year - they enter a magic story that allows them to participate and take a real interest in the language we are learning.
Carol Taylor, Queen's Park CE/URC Primary School, St Helens
As a teacher of French throughout our Primary school and German in a Y6 lunchtime club I have found Little Red Languages to be an invaluable resource. Not only are the illustrations beautiful but the stories and activities are perfectly pitched for the KS2 language learner. It is great for the children to hear pronunciation modelled by native speakers.
At our school we have linked 'Je Voudrais un Animal' to our Y4 animal topic and both the French and German versions of Little Red Riding Hood have been enjoyed. The interactivity of finding a hidden animal on some stories is always a definite hit! The Christmas advent features are worth the subscription alone and our pupils ask to do this when December comes.
I would certainly recommend Little Red Languages to other MFL teachers.
Kate Tomkins, Head of MFL, Gosforth Central Middle School, Newcastle upon Tyne
The website is engaging, fun and easy to use – for both staff and pupils! I have used it both in lessons as part of the curriculum and in ICT rooms as a tool which pupils can explore. I particularly like it as I feel it is great with both the more and less able. The more able can really get their teeth into the stories and have a chance to access the language in another setting. At the same time it is an engaging way for the less able to interact with the language within a setting they know, like the story of the gingerbread man.
Feedback from pupils has been very good. They really like the site, they say it’s easy to use and they like the graphics and animations. They find the stories appealing especially the ones they know like the fairy tales. Year 7 love Little Red Riding Hood where you can change the ending and the Christmas wish list as it is interactive. Year 5 say the stories are fun and they enjoy being able to use the site independently.
I would like to see more stories which could be tied into the curriculum. For me the best one was “Quiero una Mascota” as I used it in conjunction with the topic of pets and it really expanded the pupil’s animal vocabulary.
Sophie Hall, The Wickford Church of England School
The children at our school have loved the stories on Little Red Languages and are always asking if they can use it during their Spanish lessons or Golden time. As they are such familiar stories all the children have been able to follow and engage with the stories in Spanish at some level.
Teachers have used the stories as whole class activities and because they are so child friendly we have been able to set up a table with laptops where the children can independently access the stories and activities.
Primary School, Hertfordshire
The children love the stories and spotting the little details (a snail, the wolf hiding, etc...) The different voices used encourage the children to repeat words and remember them. Repetition of phrases is also good as after hearing them a few times, they start saying them with the characters. In the past two years, we have also tried to use some of the words learnt to write our own stories. The children have really enjoyed it.
Your website also means that non-specialists can play stories in French without worrying about their accent while allowing the children to work on sentences rather than single words.