The hidden values of storytelling in teaching young children

The hidden values of storytelling in teaching young children


Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the real world today

_Robert McKee

Teaching is an art, which require the teachers has to be active and wisely in using teaching methods flexible. Generally, there are many kinds of teaching techniques that teachers can apply to motivate students’ interest such as games, songs or dramas… Importantly, storytelling is one of the most useful ways to attract young children and make them learn effectively. In the writing below, I will examine why storytelling is very powerful and how should a teacher do to make it become a helpful tool in teaching.

Stories have power with almost of the children. They bring children a world of imagination; draw a colorful picture for students with many interesting characters within. Telling stories will make the world of stories become lively and vivid. The whole pictures of the stories seem to appear alive in the eyes of students if the teacher has suitable intonation and gesture. Obviously, telling stories will lead students into an imaginable world that they may have never got into. Moreover, this is a good chance for children to discover experience and enjoy the rich imaginable world. Of course, this process do not run alone, but go along with the learning process. Students is not only can feel relax and excited but also can learn language through the story purposely. Language in story, thus, is not boring and in isolation but in context and very easy to remember. Children learn more about the color of life and deal with characters in stories. They, particularly, can know what are the good things and bad things in the world of literature whereby language give people endless inspiration. Consequently, storytelling is a kind of method which can both help young students form knowledge, imagination, creation and critical thinking as well as characteristic building. Therefore, telling stories for young learners would be a very useful method to teach foreign language for kids.

Storytelling, on the other hand, also has some small disadvantages besides its big advantages. For example, telling a story may take a lot of time in term of teaching in class and preparing. Teachers often have to spend much time finding pictures and suitable ways to inspire to children…However, with the powerful values I have mention above, storytelling still is a wonderful tool in teaching language for young children.

The question now is: What characteristics should a teacher have in telling stories to attract students?

Although the plots of stories play an important role, the teacher will hold the main key (decisive role) to make the stories attractive. As a result, the teachers should use visual aids, pictures, to illustrate the content of stories. At the same time, suitable gestures, facial expression and voice should be cared and used flexible. The teachers need always innovate teaching method, have different ways of storytelling to attract students. Besides, the contents of stories also have to be renewed and appropriate with students’ age. Additionally, while telling stories, the teachers should observe whole class to see whether their students get involved or not. It can be said that to be successful, teaching for young learners in general and telling stories in particular require the teachers must invest both their time and enthusiasm.

In short, although storytelling still has some weakness, the enormous benefits that they provide for education can not be denied. Therefore, applying storytelling in language teaching is very necessary because it can motivate students to learn, enhance students’ ability of literature, creation, imagination and contribute to characteristic building. Typically, the important thing is the teachers have to use suitable methods while telling story to students.

By: Nguyen Thi Lan


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