Story telling in ELT

Stories, myths and legends paint the fabric of our lives, dreams and thoughts.

Let’s learn to weave glorious learning tapestries online.

Students who want to develop fluency in speaking and writing, as well as fine-tune their creative instincts benefit tremendously from story telling. Whatever the topic being covered there’s a story to tell.

Stories & courses

Business students need to practise socialising with clients. To be good at liaising and doing business with clients you need to know how to break the ice and communicate well. One common ice-breaking device is telling anecdotes and being an entertaining speaker. This is also extremely important for presentations.

Fluency, articulate expression and accomplished creativity help one to stand out in business and make a name.

With story telling general English students get to practice all four language skills, as well as personal development skills . Listening to stories, relating the story, story-telling games like verbal chain stories, planning and writing stories, collaborating etc.are great ways to develop confidence and fluency in a fun setting.

Academic and literature courses are, of course based on story telling in one form or another. Even ESP, English for Specific Purposes will benefit from developing it’s own occupationally inspired stories.

Stories, Grammar and vocabulary.

The above comic strip is taken from collaborative story made up by a class using using song lyrics in a live online story telling session. The students filled in blank speech bubbles.

All teachers know how wonderful it is when we get students to tell stories using correct tenses or nice adjectives. However, in many courses, teachers use the story as an end in itself; a piece of writing that must be produced to pass a test.

If writing were approached from a multi-sensory perspective, with listening, speaking, drama, roleplay and art, then the grammatical/lexical aspect of language learning would be acquired in a more enjoyable and brain-friendly manner.

As can be seen above, visuals really capture the imagination and release creativity and confidence.

Digital story-telling

What happens when you cross a web-tool wielding Edupreneur with an old-fashioned word lover, and a serious ESL instructor?

Timeless story-telling bardism re-creating itself via multi-media into a focused learner-centric experience.

I’m proud to say that I’ve tried and tested all kinds of multi-media technology in my quest to create online materials and course development.

My favourites include those tools that promote lateral,deep,and autonomus thinking skills. Anything I’ve learnt to create, either technically or linguistically; my students can learn too.

My digital story-telling tool box includes various animation media, electronic posters, story- boarding, right-brain presentation software, ‘visual-podcasting'(vodcasting?)tools,and mind-mapping software.

If you want to improve your English in fun, innovative ways don’t hesitate to write your success scripts online with Sylvia.

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3 thoughts on “Story telling in ELT”

  1. I also have a passion for teaching people languages. I would like to improve my English and found your blog. Keep up the good work!

  2. It is really interesting because it builds confidence in students and they relax with stories and as they like story telling, students will show a lot of interest in such kinds of activities to improve grammar as well as vocabulary.
    Thanks Sylvia for sharing these docs.

  3. Showing movie trailer and asking ELLs to create a story from what they see. This can be done individually, in pairs, small groups, or as an exercise for the entire class.

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