Top Tips For Teaching English Through Stories
Stories... we live in a world of stories. Every single day we have a story to tell. A funny story, a serious story, a scary story or even an upsetting story. These are the pictures we keep in our minds, like our own little movie playing in our heads. Attached to every story, is language. Language completes our story, it gives our story meaning.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Lindie N. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The Power of Stories
Teaching language is giving someone the power to add another voice to their pictures, thus enabling the person to share their story with someone in that specific language. in this case - English.
For me, stories will always feel like an important part of teaching because it activates the mind and helps a student to connect a word to a picture in their mind. Making it easier to use as reference in the future, because they have a "story" (words with a picture) in their mind.
Obviously, different age groups should be taken into account when selecting a story for a group of students. The age groups we will take into account here will be simplified into children, teenagers, and adults.
Choice of Stories
When choosing a story for children I would choose a story about animals. From my experience children always love animals. There are so many stories to choose from and so many pictures to use with the story. Throwing in some talking animal hand puppets while telling the story will keep the children entertained and focused.
Easy language terms with simple word stories and a bit of entertainment create a picture in the minds of the children which they can associate with the language. For example a story about a cow. Firstly... cow as the English word. What do cows eat, what do cows drink, etc. Short, entertaining stories work best for children.
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Teenagers are always more challenging. I think in all parts of life! Therefore, to teach English to a group of teenage students it is important to determine what the general interests of the group are. Imagine how boring it would be to read a story about the stock markets to a group of teenagers.
The difficulty of the stories I choose will also depend on the language level of the students in my class, but in general, I will stick to fun/funny stories. Stories that get the teenagers excited and laughing. When teenagers can laugh at something, it makes them happy... thus helping with them to focus. It is important to choose stories that are interesting and not boring.
Adults learning English are mostly more motivated because most of them chose to learn the English language for themselves. They have a specific purpose for which they want to use the language, be it for travel or business. Travel books and newspapers will be my "go-to" stories for adults. All the while taking into account the language level of my adult students.
Are you ready to teach English through good old stories?
When choosing stories for a specific group of students, it is important to know your students and their language level. Keeping students interested and motivated to learn English is a very important goal for any good teacher. You have to ensure that you can connect with your students and broaden their minds. And what better way to get this started than with a good story?
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