FREE Reading Resources for Ukrainian Pupils
As families across the UK welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis, primary and secondary schools are now enrolling pupils from Ukraine into all year groups. Teachers will be looking for appropriate dual language books and resources to support children in learning English and integrating into school life in the UK.
We at Badger Learning have been thinking about what we can do to support children arriving from Ukraine and have decided to translate and publish a range of six dual language English–Ukrainian eBook PDFs for schools and families. We have consulted with our authors and commissioned professional translators to work on these books so we can offer them to schools and families to download free of charge. These are suitable for children in KS2 and KS3 (ages 8–14) and are ideal learning resources to support children in building fluency in reading in English.
The text on the left-hand page is in English with the right-hand page in Ukrainian. Comprehension is supported by appealing illustrations and simple, controlled language that has been carefully levelled for a reading age of no higher than eight. The files can be read on any device that accepts PDFs or can be printed out onto paper. Each book includes a dual language vocabulary list at the front and will be accompanied by an additional simple vocabulary list of commonly used words in both English and Ukrainian (Cyrillic), with a phonetic guide to pronunciation for English speakers.
These free eBooks have been selected from our extensive range of hi-lo books and have been designed to be accessible to EAL readers. The titles were selected especially with refugee children in mind, featuring positive stories and non-fiction with a wide appeal that avoids potentially triggering subject matter. These books are expertly levelled and use simple short sentences and controlled language — ideal for language learning. We have used a native Ukrainian translator who is experienced in producing high-quality dual language transcripts, ensuring children have the best possible experience when reading these texts.
These books can be used in a variety of ways with Ukrainian pupils and their English-speaking teachers and peers. Here are a few suggestions:
- Ask the child to read the Ukrainian text through first, and if their English skills are at an appropriate level, they could try the English text next.
- Depending on their age and understanding they could draw or write some notes about the story (a synopsis or a favourite character for instance).
- Ask the child to spot any words they know in the English text and find the Cyrillic equivalent.
- Use the phrasebook and pair up children with a buddy. Can they find a word from the phrasebook in the story and its English or Ukrainian translation? Could they try writing as many of these out as they can and practise speaking them to each other? Use a highlighter to spot familiar words, pop some on post-its and stick them around the classroom.
- Could you invite a Ukrainian parent in to help share the book with the class? The teacher could read the English page and the parent the Ukrainian page — if they feel ready of course.
- Print these out as large as you can or display them electronically on an interactive whiteboard, so children can see and compare the different scripts used.
- Read through the vocabulary list at the front of the book. See how many of these words you can find/read in the text.
- Play book charades: instruct children to act out a character/event from the story for others to guess and match to the book.
- Keyword snap: write out keywords in English from the dual language book onto pieces of paper. Invite the child to pick a piece of paper and read/match the word to the corresponding page in the book.
- Memory game: print some (or all) of the pages from the book, shuffle them up and ask the child to put them into the correct order. Cover the page numbers to make this activity even more challenging.
- Pictionary: instruct children to draw pictures of keywords/phrases from the dual-language text for their partner to guess. The book can be close to hand for reference.
- Who Am I game: instruct children to write out character names/animals from the dual language book onto post-its. Mix them up and get each child to stick one to their forehead, without looking at the name. Then they can ask simple questions to find out who/what they are.
- Rewrite/draw/talk about a different ending for one of the stories or think about what might happen next.
- Give the book to a child to just enjoy at home or in class. Spending time in a new school is exhausting and they may just need a quiet moment to read something in their own language that is absorbing and fun.
Thank you to our authors for generously supporting this project: Lynda Gore, Anne Rooney, Johnny Zucker, Jane West, Clare Lawrence and Simon Chapman.
Other resources available to schools:
- The Bell Foundation Welcome Video
- DfE Contact for Schools Supporting Young People from Ukraine Email: SSPO.DfE@education.gov.uk.
- Duolingo English-Ukrainian Phrasebook
- Harry Potter eBooks in Ukrainian (Free)
- Oak National Academy lessons are available in a variety of languages including Ukrainian.
- The ODILO app lets you have easy to access multimedia content (eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, videos, podcasts, courses and more formats) on your smartphone and tablet.
- Association for Citizenship Teachinghave some useful teacher fact sheets
- Twinkle Ukrainian Resources
- Ukrainian Educational Resource Materials
- Flash Academy
- Solgrid Education