I occasionally read the Oxford University Press blog, and a recent post has uncovered a gem of a website for language learners.
Storybird.com allows you to create short illustrated stories, using some fantastic artwork provided by the site. Your story can then be saved on the website for others to view, as well as being emailed like greeting cards.
This is a great way to improve writing skills, especially if you have a particular topic in mind. The artwork on the site is grouped by theme (animals and noodles are two) so you can create a story around the pictures. It’s a great way to build up your vocabulary – try thinking up ideas and words related to animals, for example.
Another use is to help improve reading – ask your teacher to provide a short story and then match pictures to create your story. This will test your understanding of the text provided. As more people use the site hopefully contributions will be made in different languages, increasing the amount of reading material available.
I took the quick video tour which shows you the basics of using the site (it looks very intuitive), and one of the most interesting things mentioned was the collaborative aspect of the stories. This means you can invite someone to help you create the story – perhaps a language partner from your class, or someone fluent in your target language could provide the text whilst you add the images.
There are plenty of opportunities for being creative with this site – enjoy!