Building Narratives: Storytelling Skills for English Language Learners
Storytelling holds universal appeal as a medium for cultural exchange in the English Language classroom. Through storytelling, language learners may share the historical records, spiritual and social values, myths and legends, which make their cultures unique. Moreover, storytelling gives voice to students’ personal experiences and allows them to entertain and educate with original and creative ideas. This paper presents an overview of a short course which has been developed for a Japanese university and is designed to equip students of English with the basic tools for creating narratives. While focus lies on helping students to understand the ‘building blocks’ of storytelling (story setting, plot, conflict, characters etc.), the importance of engaging audiences with meaningful themes and messages is also stressed. In addition, basic editing and peer reviewing techniques teach students the value of audience feedback in shaping their own narratives.
Keywords - Storytelling, Writing, Language Learning, ESL Classroom, Japan