TwLetteratura Cymru


March 2017 saw the launch of an exciting new European digital partnership project bringing TwLetteratura and Betwyll to Merthyr Tydil from Italy. The project was funded by Cardiff University as part of the Fusion Pioneer programme and was a partnership between Literature Wales, Head4Arts, Merthyr Libraries, Possib Project, 3GS working in collaboration with Pierluigi Vaccaneo (the co-developer of the TwLetteratura project in Italy and the creator of the Betwyll app).

TwLetteratura is one of the 15 good practices enlisted in the manual “Promoting Reading in the Digital Environment”, published by the European Union and written by the work group of the experts in digital reading of the EU States. The project combined reading and social media to explore TwLetteratura techniques, linked with other projects across Europe, and increased learning and creative opportunities in an appealing way.

Working with author Francesca Kay, pupils and staff from two schools Pen y Dre Comprehensive and Goetre Primary, Merthyr North, read the same book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (divided into small sections, over a period of weeks). They devised their own creative responses in 140 characters to what they read, posted them on a closed digital platform (Betwyll) and enjoyed art workshops led by Andy O’Rouke to create illustrations to complement the written responses. Supported by Jen Angharad, Possib Project, the project also encouraged bilingual responses to the text. The project has been shared both online and the twylls and artworks have been produced as a book, reflecting the new tech / old tech values of the project.

Miss Rhianon Bennett, Goetre Primary school said:

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving us the opportunity to take part in this wonderful project.

The children and I have thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and feel saddened that it has now come to a close.

Firstly, I feel that the quality of the children’s writing has improved significantly in such a short space of time!

They have readily ‘twylled’ a whole range of things including lipograms and rhymes, and used alliteration on many occasions. They have written in role, and they have written in the 3rd person – with equal success -and have done all of this without complaint or concern.

I must say, I feel a huge factor in the success of the project, is down to the fact that Francesca and Louise have been frequent visitors to the school – supporting our numerous sessions with the children.

The children have greatly enjoyed this new and fresh interaction, so much so that they have sat for nigh on two hours at a time, twice a week, and sometimes more – listening to Francesca read – and then’ twylling.’

The importance of these sessions simply cannot be underestimated.

Oral performance, especially listening to someone read, in my opinion, is one of the greatest things a child can be a part of – and this was quality, interesting, engaging reading!

In fact, the children have become more inclined to read aloud of late overall, and on one occasion, a very quiet introverted child, once  chose to read a complete chapter to the rest of the class! This was as a direct result of the modelling of the reading she had listened to and chose to replicate to her peers.

In addition to this, we have had great fun with Andy the artist.

Children who avidly stated, ‘I can’t draw!’ had to eat their words after producing lovely animated pictures of characters and scenes from the book – and spent several hours practising their new found skills.

We also welcomed Jen Angharad to the class, who worked with the children through the medium of Welsh – and some dance – we may be able to exhibit this at a local festival.

Finally, I have now planned a trip for the whole of year 5/6 to visit Cadbury’s World. The children are very excited….

It may not be Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – but I guess it’s the closest we’re going to get!

Many thanks for everything again.

Also see Francesca Kay’s blog on the Literature Wales website TwLetteratura and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: