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Asia Society: A world of children’s literature

December 20, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 12.17.53 PMWhen it comes to enhancing students’ cultural understanding, text books and lecture series only go so far. But two websites are attempting to challenge that norm by promoting international literature as a way for students to connect with the world.

“In our past as teachers we relied a lot on expository texts when trying to explore the world,” admitted Lisa Thomas, project specialist at the Van Horne School of Global Inquiry, at the Asia Society’s Partnership for Global Learning conference, held in July. “But we have found in our work is that narratives open the world for children in ways expository texts simply do not.”

“What we’ve found is that if they’re engaged in reading texts that are authentic representations of other cultures, they understand those cultures in way that expository texts really don’t help them to understand,” she said.

The International Children’s Digital Library has nearly 4,000 digitized books in 54 different languages from 63 countries across the globe, including some as far-reaching as Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Iran. All the books are available to read on the Web site cover-to-cover, free of charge.

Please read more here.

And did you know the Asia Society has classic Chinese stories online for kids? Check it out:

http://kids.asiasociety.org/stories

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