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Disney Publishing Worldwide launches digital language learning product

Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW), the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, will increase its presence in the digital learning space with its first language learning product. Language Learning Read Along: Toy Story 3 will expand DPW’s existing base of educational products with an innovative approach based on the company’s long history of teaching English. The app will be available in the US, China, Malaysia and 25 additional countries throughout Europe and Asia.

"As digital media continues to impact the way children learn, it is up to us to create products that enhance that learning experience," said Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. "Disney is all about bringing the most creative content to children and families around the world through innovative technology. Our Language Learning app delivers on that goal while allowing children to read and learn wherever, whenever, and however they want on their mobile devices."

This app is the first in a series of leveled Disney storybooks that combine Disney magic with proven language learning methods where children learn key English and Mandarin vocabulary and grammar. This first app story contains multiple versions of the beloved Disney-Pixar title Toy Story 3, which gradually transforms from English to Chinese, mixing the new with the known by playing with 5 levels of the story:

  • Level 1 – English only
  • Level 2 – Beginning Chinese (25 percent)
  • Level 3 – Intermediate (50 percent Chinese)
  • Level 4 – Advanced (75 percent)
  • Level 5 – 100 percent Chinese

Language Learning: Toy Story 3, which is based on the proven pedagogical approach to language learning called Diglot Weave, includes professional bilingual narration across all levels, including music and sound effects; pronunciation of individual words available at a tap; audio and visual translations of individual words available with an easy-to-use translator; and voice recording to practice and compare pronunciation with the narrator.

Disney English is Disney Publishing’s global brand that encompasses licensed language learning products sold at retail around the world, 31 language learning centers in China, direct-to-consumer language learning products in Japan, and with the launch of Language Learning: Toy Story 3, digital learning in the US, China, and more than 25 other countries. The Disney English curriculum has been endorsed and recognized by a team of world-class language/education experts.

"This innovative Read-Along app is a real industry first. A "Diglot Weave" story is told partially in the native language of the learner and partially in the language being taught. As the learner’s understanding progresses, an increasing proportion of the story is told in the foreign language until the reader is experiencing the story entirely in that foreign language. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of the diglot weave method," says Dr Yuhua Ji, Professor and Chair, Department of English Language and Literature (DELL) Xiamen University and pioneer of this method of Language Learning in China who advised on this project.

In addition to its 700 hours of language learning curriculum, Disney Publishing creates a variety of learning products under its School Skills, Wonderful World of Reading, and Adventures in Reading programs. Disney Educational Productions, also part of DPW, has been producing and distributing award-winning educational DVD’s and supplemental content to schools for more than 60 years.