The power of storytelling

The next stop on my Culture adventure was learning about storytelling power. It is a pedagogical resource to integrate culture in the EFL classroom and promote intercultural awareness.  According to Malo and Bullard (2000), the benefits of storytelling are:   storytelling-1.jpg

– To develop literary competencies

– To develop a love of reading

– To promote creativity and imagination

– To develop language awareness and language skills

Storytelling can be the basis of our didactic unit or project. As I’ve experienced during this Postgraduate degree, the Calm Down, Boris! story by Sam Lloyd was very useful for teaching daily routines to younger students. I had the chance to try it with my 5 year-old students, by reading it a several times andreproducing some of the pre/while/after-reading activities and games we suggested in our Didactic Unit. Some of them were as basic as chants to review the learned vocabulary; some others were more complex as role-playing, to promote students use the new language and apply it in a real context; or a quite simple one that was ordering some pictures according to what Boris does in the book, as a review of the daily routines. That was, with no doubt, a great experience. I really recommend you to use this type of books in class, there are endless possibilities, read and play with the puppet, students love it, or even invent your own story using the puppet as main character. Here you have a tutorial video on How to explain Calm down, Boris! 

calm down

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Translanguaging 2: How can we apply it to the English class?

As I’ve learned in the multilingualism previous subject, and reinforced in this culture module, we can foster respect to other cultures and languages, as well as provide a chance to all our students to be and feel part of the class-group, by creating a multilingual environment. How can we do so? I’ve found some interesting ways and strategies, super simple and easy to implement in class, that will make the education a bit more multicultural.

General basic things to do in class:

  • Have bilingual students teach their classmates a greeting in their home language, practicing over several days until the class is able to use these multilingual greetings when entering the classroom.

Resultado de imagen de translanguaging

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Translanguaging 1: Let’s get started!

Have you ever notticed that sometimes children in class use resources from different languages together, with very little regard for what languages (Spanish, Catalan or English) they are using? What they are using are, in fact, elements of each language together to communicate more effectively. It is about using all your language resources to communicate, it is translanguagingImagen relacionada

Translanguaging is the act performed by bilinguals of accessing different linguistic featuresorvarious modes of what are described as autonomous languages, in order to maximize communicative potential.Ofelia García (2009: 140)

It is believed it emerged in the 1980s in Bangor, north of Wales, when Cen Williams and his colleagues were investigating strategies for learners to use two languages (Welsh and English) in a single lesson. They came up with the term ‘trawsieithu’ to describe reading or hearing input in one language and writing or speaking about it in another.

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