★★☆Mobile App Seeks to Preserve African Folktales

2015年02月05日 ★★☆, Science in the News, VOA, 未分類.

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*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. animation /ˌænəˈmeɪʃən/ (n.)
  2. a way of making a movie by using a series of drawings, computer graphics, or photographs of objects that are slightly different from one another, and that when viewed quickly one after another, create the appearance of movement

  3. preserve /prɪˈzɚv/ (v.)
  4. to keep something safe from harm or loss; to protect

  5. crowdfunding /ˈkraʊd.ˈfʌnd/ (n.)
  6. the practice of getting money from a large number of people, especially from the online community

  7. moral /ˈmorəl/ (adj.)
  8. concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior

  9. folktale /ˈfoʊkˌteɪl/ (n.)
  10. a traditional story


    Mobile App Seeks to Preserve African Folktales

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    (1) For hundreds of years, Africans have preserved their history through storytelling. But, some Africans worry that oral traditions will be lost to Internet connections and social media.

    (2) This has led one Nigerian woman to create a mobile phone application, or app, as a way to preserve African folk stories. Elizabeth Kperrun is a businesswoman and fashion designer. She calls her mobile app AfroTalez. The AfroTalez app tells children’s stories that teach moral lessons. Ms. Kperrun says she wanted to create the app to preserve some of the stories told to her when she was a child in Nigeria.

    (3) “Sometimes you can’t teach a child something by telling the child, ‘Don’t do this’. In fact, I think it gave me context. In a story somebody stole something and then something bad happened to them. Alternatively, somebody else did something good and they ended up really happy or really rich.”

    (4) “Hello children. My name is Liz and I’d like to tell you a story about a tortoise, an elephant, and a hippopotamus. This story will tell you why it’s important to go to school so you can grow up to be very wise like the tortoise.”

    (5) AfroTalez is designed for children ages two to 10. The voice of “Aunt Liz” narrates the story, while a full-screen animation appears. An arrow signals when it is time to move on. There are also quizzes on object recognition and counting throughout.

    (6) “Can you point at Mr. Elephant? No, try again. Good! Find the rope. No, try again…. Good!”

    (7) Kperrun spoke to her older relatives to help collect stories for the application. The stories come from an ethnic group of about four million people called the Tiv who live in southeast Nigeria and northwest Cameroon. Ms. Kperrun says she wants to include folktales from other parts of Nigeria in local languages in those areas.

    (8) “I want to keep it centered around folk stories. I don’t want the popular ones that, let’s say, Walt Disney has made really popular… I think it’s only fair and respectful that we keep certain cultures alive because most of the folk stories are part of the tapestry that keeps cultures together.”

    (9) Kperrun writes and reads the stories. Her business partner and husband Idamiebi Ilamina- Eremie does the animation.

    (10) AfroTalez is available for Android users and can be downloaded for free in the Google Play store. So far, AfroTalez has more than 50,000 users.

    (11) Funding for the app has been a major challenge. Ms. Kperrun hopes to use a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the next version of AfroTalez to be released this year.

    (12) Ms. Kperrun says technology does not have to destroy or replace traditions. She says her goal is to combine both new technology and old traditions to keep African culture alive.

    (13) “Africa is our home. I think we are so in a rush to become Western that we are forgetting things that are really important, things that should be passed on of who we are, and I don’t think that’s right.”


    *Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

    1. Please name a few folktales from your country. Which one do you like the most? Why?
    2. Do you think it is important to let the recent youth know about your country’s folktales? Why?
    3. Which cellphone application app do you think is very educational and useful nowadays?
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