Storytelling has been used as a means to help students of a public school improve their communicative skills. To achieve this goal, we have designed activities that enable students to use English actively and at the same time get in touch with literature. We expect to change students attitudes towards English and to motivate them to develop proficiency in the foreign language through storytelling. In doing so, we are innovating our teaching practices with students of 804 in La Merced school by incorporating a tool that can provide students with both the means and the motivation for using the language and thus develop their communicative skills.
The idea of developing this classroom research is a form of self-reflection in order to improve our teaching practices. It plays an important part in reflective teaching as personal and professional development occur when we teachers review our experiences in a systematic way, evaluating our teaching methods as well as the material used in class to establish which one best suit our students curriculum. It is then expected that this research will enable us to evaluate our pedagogical knowledge to use storytelling in English class.
KEY THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES
The use of literature is an answer to the need to expose children from an early age to an understanding of the way language functions. Stories are an essential part of all cultures around the world. The tolerance and comprehension of different cultures through a wide variety of cultures produce very positive result because all children enjoy stories, myths and legends. As can be seen, storytelling helps us to change traditional classes into very interesting ones.
The girls of 804 have been reading : Rumpelstskin, sleeping beauty, Rapunzel, Goldilocks and the three bears, The ugly duckling, Little red riding hood, The princess and the pea, Puss in boots, The four musicians, and other ones. The stories were read using different strategies to make students focus on meaning (inferring, predicting, and guessing).I showed the students the cover of the book to generate their desire to read the stories. In these activities my students used their linguistic intelligence by using language forms to ask for and give information.
We also commented on the colorful pictures to help students grasp the ideas contained in the stories. Also, we stimulated storytellers.
Their reports encouraged the class to check meaning and details and to exchange ideas about their understanding of texts.
Furthermore, the girls drew pictures about the plot of the stories. Most of them accompanied their drawings with some sentences according to the reading. Finally, their works are in their English notebook.
So far, the results have shown that students like stories because they are exploited through varied and interesting, activities during whole class. Stories have enhanced students´ motivation; they have helped us to keep the students´attention, stimulated visual memory and improved their imagination and fantasy. Likewise, they have reinforced their speaking skills through different exercises like: retelling the story, drawing and describing pictures, word exercises, remembering and describing some scenes of the stories. In addition, stories have provided meaningful alternatives to teach new vocabulary which is then recycled in the retelling activities we have engaged in.
It was written by : GLORIA BARRETO C.
English teacher La Merced School