University of Edinburgh

The Crowded Cottage CD-ROM

What is on the CD-ROM?

The CD ROM contains a traditional story about an old man and his wife, who live in a cottage in the Scottish Highlands. The story is in fact a fable, so although it can be understood by quite young children, it can also be used with older pupils who can explore the moral of the story in more depth.

farmer and his wife

The story is told in 8 minutes in BSL and can be played with or without voice-over in English. It can also be accessed as a story in written English. Each page has its own voice-over in English, and a mouse-click on many of the English words (ie those that appear red as the cursor moves over them) will bring up a BSL/English dictionary entry for that word.

The story is also available in illustrations only, which story-tellers can use to tell their own version of the story.

The CD-ROM contains three games, which focus specifically on the use of English prepositions. All instructions are fully bilingual, so that BSL support is always available if you get stuck. There is no scoring system, since the point is not to compete. Indeed, at any time during the games it is possible to go backwards and redo some activities, or skip others entirely. The games can also be used the other way around, for example, by BSL learners who can work on their BSL receptive skills, by trying to follow the instructions in BSL.

And finally, there are a number of suggested classroom activities, each of which is available in both English and BSL. They focus around core curriculum skills (or key skills) which take those who have finished the story beyond it, to some stimulating follow-up questions. Although these activities are aimed at the classroom, there is no reason why parents cannot explore them with their children at home.

classroom activities

Edited by Mary Brennan
Published by M|M
ISBN 0-9547081-0-5