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Polli

WHAT IS IT?

For Families, Schools, & Libraries

Polli is an interactive e-book reader that helps parents and teachers turn storytime into a fun activity for learning a new language. It uses a proven language acquisition method that naturally introduces a new language to the readers, on the pages of storybooks they love.

For Content Partners

Whether you are a cultural institution seeking to present traditional folklores in an authentic light, or an educational non-profit in search of ESL materials for a newly arrived refugee community, Polli's authoring platform enables you to meet your content development and audience engagement goals – through bilingual storytelling.

How does it work?

Once the Polli app has been installed, a user selects a title from a growing library of classic and modern children’s books, then chooses a native language and a target language, and downloads the e-book that is presented in those 2 languages.

Let’s say you would like to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to your child or class in English and Spanish. You can adjust the level of language integration on a graduated scale: from Seed (5% of the story is presented in Spanish) to Flower (95% Spanish). The two languages appear in both text and audio, and are mixed according to linguistic rules that are designed to optimize acquisition and retention. Polli makes acquiring a new language fun and engaging. You help your child learn new words and phrases in context, at a pace they’re comfortable with, while reading fun and memorable stories together.

Polli offers you a full suite of online tools to take a storybook project from beginning to finish. Easy-to-follow instructions guide you from composing bilingual narrative and dialogs, to synchronizing illustrations, texts and audio clips, to featuring your finished product in the Polli Bookstore for maximum discoverability.

In addition, Polli offers a repository of public- domain children’s classics, enabling you to quickly adopt perennial favorites such as Cinderella to suit your diverse audiences in a culturally and linguistically sensitive way. As the owner of your creations, you get to keep the majority of the sales proceeds, which can be a nice additional funding stream for your development initiatives.

How was polli created?

Polli was created as part of a research initiative funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development -- a division of the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- to encourage parent- child conversations about important topics such as nutrition and exercise. The signature Bi-Lingual Story Switching Method (BLoSSoM) was tested in the form of an animated cartoon series, and was shown to be highly effective: children repeatedly viewed each episodes in different language ratios, started conversations with their parents and teachers about healthy eating, and retained key terms in the target language. The Polli ebook reader builds on these research findings, and takes the parent-child engagement from a passive viewing to an active reading experience.

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