‘A Clockwork Orange’ helps kids to learn languages… No, really!

Fear not, your children won’t be electrocuted… One Third Stories – a new series of paperback storybooks, audiobooks and activity materials – is shaking up language learning with its unique approach to introducing children to the wonders of foreign languages.

The books work by utilising a learning method coined by founders Alex Somervell and Jonny Pryn, known as the Clockwork Methodology™. By taking inspiration from Anthony Burgess’ iconic novel A Clockwork Orange – in which words from the fictional Nadsat language are gradually introduced to the reader throughout the narrative – One Third Stories’ books begin entirely in English, before progressively bringing in foreign words in context with the story.

An example of the Clockwork Methodology™ in action is: “The little boy looked into the sky at the bright, round, yellow soleil.

Co-founder Alex Somervell says, “The new word gets used many times throughout the story in different contexts and through this repeated exposure the reader has learnt the French word for ‘sun’. Introducing new vocabulary in this way allows us to create stories that start in English and end in a different language.

“The inspiration for this methodology may seem odd or controversial due to the nature of the original novel, but we’ve found it to be an incredibly effective way for children to learn languages, as well as enjoyable.”

Accompanied by an audiobook to teach pronunciation, and beautiful illustrations to provide a visual element, the books enable children to become competent in a foreign language in a way that is entertaining while having a lasting positive impact on their learning.

Aimed at children between the ages of four and nine years, One Third Stories’ offerings are currently available in French and Spanish on a monthly subscription service, where children receive a new storybook, activity book and activity cards each month.