The Pont Project: A Guide for Parents

This is a project run by community arts organization Head4Arts, with its Italian partners. It is suitable for children aged 8+ and their families and can be accessed in both English and Welsh (as well as in Italian or Occitan)

The project uses six short folk tales from North Italy and Wales to support literacy and increase enjoyment of reading. Through the use of a free reading app and playing with the text, participants can be linked to other people reading the same stories and swap comments about what they have read.

We suggest you follow the programme for 3 weeks, focusing on two short tales each week.

Step 1

First you need to download the free Betwyll app onto your device (you can find this through Apple Store and Google Play). The project is designed to work on a smart phone or tablet, If you don’t have either of these, or your device is having problems opening the app – don’t worry – you can still join in (information is at the bottom of these instructions).

Once the app is downloaded, you will be prompted to register. This will generate an email giving a password for the next log in (this can later be changed to something more memorable by clicking on the settings icon in the top right corner of the Profile section).

The front page has a tutorial that shows you how to use the app but you can also find operation instructions here (The second film was made by children from Ysgol Trelyn): Link to Betwyll website

There is also a list of all the current projects run by Betwyll. Just keep scrolling down to find Project Pont. Tap on this and it will reveal all six stories – two stories for each of the three weeks of the project. Now you are ready to go!

Step 2

Tap on the first of the Week 1 stories to open it and swipe through the text pages from right to left until you find the language you want (Each story is in four languages).

Read carefully though the story together – you can do this all at once or take your time (remember you have seven days to cover both Week1 stories – and they are very short).

The stories are put together in pairs. Each week there is one from Wales and one from Italy, with both sharing a similar theme:

  • Week 1 Fairies and magical beings
  • Week 2 Metamorphic (transforming) Creatures
  • Week 3 Dragons and Devils.

If you prefer to experience the folk tales performed by storyteller Tamar Eluned Williams, all of the stories are available on the Head4Arts and Menter Caerffili’s Youtube Page (you can also access these via our website).

Step 3

Once you have read the story, we want you to reflect what you have read and make a comment . What did you like about the story? What do you want to say to one of the characters? What should have happened? On Betwyll, you can tap the text and see what comments other people have made and you will be invited to add your own – we call these comments “twylls”.

Twylls are a bit like “Tweets” on Twitter. Your comment should only be a maximum of 140 characters, and you submit it directly on the app – it will even count the number of characters you are using as you type it in.

Just like Facebook or Twitter you can “like” comments and “follow” other readers and share comments.

We want you to really enjoy the stories by looking at them very closely – and having fun with the text by varying the way in which you comment. For example your twyll can be written:

  • as a precis of the story
  • in verse
  • like a newspaper headline
  • as if addressing one of the characters
  • without using the letter E

What happens if your device won’t support Betwyll?

Digital technology has its challenges and Betwyll doesn’t work on PCs, laptops and Chrome Books. However, if it doesn’t work, all is not lost.

This project can work equally well using hard copies of the text and writing comments (“twylls”) on a paper grid. If you need copies of these, send an email to kate.strudwick@head4arts.org.uk

Extras:

What is this strange language Occitan? : Occitan used to be widely spoken across France and bordering countries in mediaeval times, before it was superceded by Norman French. It takes its name from their way of saying “yes” (“Oc” rather than “Oui”) and it is still spoken by around 1.5 million people, mostly in the Languedoc area of France and in certain regions of Italy and Spain. If you want to try saying something in Occitan, we have recorded some simple phrases for you that you can access via our website.

Other Books:
You will see that other texts are available on Betwyll – you are welcome to try
those too (eg. Alice’ Adventures in Wonderland). There is also a hidden project
based around Dan Anthony’s book “Rugby Zombies” which can only be accessed via
a request to Head4Arts (for copyright reasons). This is also available in Welsh
and English. For more information contact kate.strudwick@head4arts.org.uk

The Pont Project is a collaboration between:

ITALY – Associazione Culturale TwLetteratura / Betwyll, Espaci Occitan and Bepart

WALES – Head4Arts, Menter Iaith Caerffili and storyteller Tamar Eluned Williams

For more information about Head4Arts projects look at latest news http://head4arts.org.uk/news/