Storybooks Speech and Hearing is a free open educational resource designed for speech and hearing professionals, including speech therapists and speech pathologists, as well as language learners. It makes 40 stories from the African Storybook available with text, audio, and IPA transcriptions in English and a variety of other languages. The transcriptions have been automatically generated, and are currently in the process of being manually refined and corrected by experts in each language.
All 40 stories on the Storybooks Speech and Hearing website come from the African Storybook – a groundbreaking digital initiative of the South African organization Saide, which promotes literacy for African children. The African Storybook has hundreds of stories in multiple African languages, as well as English, French, and Portuguese. The stories are openly licensed, which allows the Storybooks Speech and Hearing team to repurpose them for a audience. We are very grateful to the African Storybook and Saide for making the stories freely available under an open license.
We selected the 40 stories out of several hundred from the African Storybook, and sought to create a collection of stories of different lengths that balance the African origin of the stories with internationally relevant themes. There are traditional animal fables as well as contemporary stories about city life. Some stories cover serious topics like responsibility and gender equality. Others are just written to make you laugh. We hope that the universal values reflected in the stories will resonate with children across Speech and Hearing.
Storybooks Speech and Hearing has only been possible with the help of a large number of people, including translators, readers, proofreaders, and others who have been part of the process of making these stories available. We sincerely thank all contributors for their time and effort!
We are particularly grateful to the Storybooks Canada project, which has created the modular website on which Storybooks Speech and Hearing is based, and to the ipa-dict project for providing the freely-licensed IPA transcription data for each language.