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Listening to Harry Potter

We encourage you to make use of the Harry Potter recordings in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions.

Making use of the Harry Potter Recordings Website:

in the classroom valuing multilingualism:

·      Listen to the languages spoken by all of the students in the class (or their relatives).

·      Use the recordings for intergenerational activities building on translated versions of this popular text in so many different languages. Ask a grandparent to come and read Harry Potter to the students in their language. Use the audio recording as an introduction to the reading session.

·      Ask your students to record their versions of Harry Potter and present them in their class.

·      Listen to particular languages when you study that part of the world. Use the audio recordings to support units in social studies to see how people speak in countries like Peru, Tunisia or Ukraine.

·      Encourage students to listen to a particular language that is spoken by people in a country he or she would like to visit.

·      Place the languages on a map of the world.

·      Listen to related languages. Look at the covers on the books. Do the languages look the same? Which words in the recording sound the same?

·      Listen to a range of languages and try to pick out the English words. What is different about the way they are pronounced?

·      Studies in Diversity Education: Our schools and classrooms are increasingly diverse. Use the audio recordings in your classes to introduce a language and invite a native speaker from the community to come and talk about the specific language and culture.

·      Listen to languages that many people speak in the place where you live. Encourage students to listen for these languages when they are in public spaces.

for personal enjoyment:

·      Listen to a language you’ve never heard before.

·      Learn a bit about the comparative method for determining whether languages are related. Listen for commonalities (e.g., sounds, words) and differences within language families. (See for a Proto-Indo-European Family tree.)

·      Listen to a language you’d like to learn.

·      Listen to a language spoken by your friends.

·      Listen to the language of a country you’d like to visit.

·      Consider notions such a “language” and “dialect.”

o   Compare, for example, German and Dutch, which are officially different languages. Then compare German and Plattdeutsch, which are different dialects.

o   Similarly compare Spanish, Italian and European Portuguese. Then compare European and Brazilian Portuguese.


Click here for a pdf version of suggestions.