As renowned storyteller Andrew Wright says in the main feature of this issue, stories are central to the life of all of us, and because stories ‘make people and make societies’, teachers who tell stories to their students have a big responsibility.
David Heathfield not only tells stories to his students, he also persuades them to tell him stories, too. In this article, and subsequent ones in his new series, he shares some of the stories that students have told in his classes. By doing this, he contributes to the most important aspect of storytelling – that stories should be passed on. A story that is told only once ends there. It is in the constant retelling of a story that it gains life and momentum. David’s first story is a charming tale about an injured bird, a kindly old Korean couple and the water of a magic spring.
For Daniel Xerri, memories of having stories read to him as a child, and his personal experiences of seeing children listening to adults reading stories, have convinced him that, both literally and figuratively, we need to find a place for storytelling in our lives and in our classrooms.
Tosja Kobler Jovanovič describes the benefits of using stories about our own experiences to help our students understand how language works and why intercultural understanding is so important, while Paul Bress concentrates on the writing of stories, offering suggestions for training students in those features that differentiate a good story from a poor one.
For many people, advances in technology have opened up new avenues for storytelling. Sandi Ferdiansyah outlines a digital project that you might like to try with your students, and the focus of Nicky Hockly’s ‘Five things ...’ article is also digital storytelling. Follow the links to see some lovely examples done by students and teachers around the world.
Why not get your students involved in creating a video story? You will find details of our second film-making competition on page 57. Last year’s entries were of a very high standard and the students clearly had a lot of fun making them. Perhaps this is something that your students would really enjoy, too.
Chia Suan Chong’s puzzling camel story is one that bears frequent retelling. See if you can work out how the 18th camel ended up back with its original owner.
Of course, there are some stories that are best left untold, and the shaggy dog story that features in the Scrapbook photocopiable worksheet on page 40 may well be one of them!
I hope you will be encouraged to share some of the stories you can find in this issue of ETp with your students and your colleagues.