Slide 18 of 23
Zahir is five years old, and his grandmother brings him to the local library. He enjoys the reading books in school, but he enjoys even more the stories his grandmother tells him - about growing up in India.
The library has books with lots of pictures and writing in Punjabi and English telling the same story. Zahir can also use the touch-screen library computer to see the insides of other books and choose to read them in English or Punjabi. The reader's voice is friendly, and Zahir is getting good at guessing the next words and playing the quizzes there too.
When he has read a book he really enjoys, he races to the computer to write what he thinks of it. Anyone else looking up that book can see what he has written. His younger sister speaks her views of the picture-books she likes, and the computer makes her words appear on the screen.
Although Zahir comes to the weekly story-time, he also enjoys his own story-time on every visit by seeing his favourite writers reading their own books on videos from the National Centre for Children's Books at Newcastle. He likes to watch the video of Shirley Hughes drawing Dogger, the hero of his favourite book when he was four.
There is a special game he plays with his two friends in which they can use the computer to make up a story of their own with different endings and then print it out. If they get stuck on a word, the dictionary helps - sometimes with a picture or a moving image of what they are trying to describe.
When he brings his books back, the librarian suggests other books he might enjoy, as the library has a list of all the ones he has borrowed before and written something good about. He prefers to choose his own, though, and has enjoyed trying to read a really long book on dinosaurs. When he brings it back on Sunday afternoon, the lady gives him a list of stories about dinosaurs - he chooses the ones about Dilly the Dinosaur, as someone his age who lives in the Punjab thought it was very good - and she also tells his grandmother about the Dinamites exhibition that is on this week. His grandmother promises to take him there, and tells him he can visit it again on the CD-ROM in the library.
Powerpoint Users: click on the image of Zahir to return to the slide about Education and Lifelong Learning.