When I was at primary school, I didn’t like reading a lot, so I only read the books my teachers asked me to read, with no motivation or predisposition at all. In secondary school I started to like reading a bit more (maybe because of my passion for cinema) so I enjoyed reading for pleasure, and the compulsory readings in class too. In my opinion, English compulsory books where short and quite easy to understand, as they had activities and picture dictionary or key vocabulary to check. I find them useful (even though they only were adapted books for language learners) because I wasn’t used to read whole stories in English with a complex plot, just some short stories, comics or articles from the English class book. At university I started to read novels in English. That was more challenging due to the language used and the length too.
Nowadays, being an English teacher with a some little experience, I can understand how archaic was the literature approach I received when I was young. This encourages me to keep learning literature and storytelling strategies so as to improve children’s motivation and culture in the future.
In my English classes I try to incorporate storytelling for several purposes; as an introduction of a topic/project (motivation), as a consolidation of learned unit (to check students knowledge, make language connections and even add some more language), just for pleasure… I think through reading students can discover that language can be fun! Storytelling may open a window for learning in class (and at home). I believe storytelling is not an innovative strategy as it has been a tool for education since many years ago, but the way a book is introduced or the way to work through it could be innovative. I would like to use them more, so I hope this module we are starting now, I would be able to take more benefit from books.