Review: Cloud Cuckoo World

With the baffling cuts to language learning in our primary schools in a time where learning languages such as French, German and Spanish has never been more important, there needs to be some sort of service out there for young children. Thankfully, the UK don’t seem to be as short sighted when it comes to Modern Foreign Language (MFL) learning and there are a number of services out there to help children learn other languages. Cloud Cuckoo World is one such product that describes itself as “an interactive learning tool to support the delivery of the Key Stage 2 non statutory framework for Languages both at school and at home.” To Irish schools, that translates into helping children learn MFL from 3rd class upwards!
Developed by sister teachers, Sara and Louise Mason, Cloud Cuckoo is a fun, interactive website which encourages independent learning, either within a classroom environment to support formal teaching, or at home. The site is one of the most attractive, child-friendly web sites I have seen in a very long time and instantly engaged me.
The content itself is also very engaging with a number of stories to teach words and phrases in French. The Places section gives some good vocabulary of things you would find in various places, such as the home, the town, etc. Cloud Cuckoo World looks like it is going to cover other languages such as German, Welsh and Spanish.
I spoke with one of the authors, Louise Mason, who is interested in working with native Gaeilge speakers to translate Cloud Cuckoo World into Irish. If there was anybody interested in this, please comment below and I’ll get you in touch with each other.
I think that this web site, at £10 per user per annum, represents very good value to any teacher hoping to get some MFL back into their classroom. While schools will struggle in Ireland to find time to get MFL into their teaching at the moment, if there was 5 minutes to spare in the day, one of these stories would not be a bad way to spend the time.

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