sábado, 14 de marzo de 2009

English corner

Storytelling for teenagers and adults

Alicia Serra and Gabriela Villano,
professional storytellers.

It is the duty of the present
to convey the voices of the past
to the ears of the future.

Norwegian saying.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is relating a tale to one or more listeners through voice and gesture. It is not the same as reading a story aloud or reciting a piece from memory or acting out a drama –though it shares common characteristics with these arts. Storytelling is communication, from the teller to the audience, not just acting or performing. The storyteller looks into the eyes of the audience and together they compose the tale. The experience can be profound, exercising the thinking and touching the emotions of both teller and listeners.

According to historians, anthropologists and linguists, storytelling began with Mankind. It was the medium through which people learned their history, settled their arguments and came to make sense of the world around them. Storytelling developed at the same speed as language. To primitive man stories were magic; there was little difference between what was told and what really happened.

Storytelling is a way of communicating, teaching and learning. Nowadays people are loosing their ability to imagine, to create their own mental images, to believe in fantasy. A storyteller tells a story and the audience has to elaborate the characters, to see and feel what the teller is saying and in this way develop their own imagination and sensitivity.

Why include Storytelling in school?

Storytelling in classroom exposes students to literature beyond their reading level. It develops their imagination and memory skills, helping them to visualize the subject being studied. Storytelling not only develops the creative side of the brain but also presents material in an interesting and motivational way by engaging the senses and emotions.

Through storytelling in English as a second language, students learn to think, to sift information so as to choose what is important to remember and what is not. Gains are also made in a natural way in the areas of listening and reading comprehension, composition, grammar, syntax, vocabulary and expressive language skills. Storytelling helps students to become more aware of figurative language and how it is used. It lures them into reading, expands their knowledge of other cultures and improves their organizational, sequencing, writing and oral skills.

And on top of that, STORYTELLING IS FUN!

What happens after a Storytelling presentation?

With the stories still warm in their hearts and with the aid of their teachers, students may subsequently capture the tales told orally and in writing. Listeners encounter both familiar and new language patterns through story. They learn new words or new contexts for already familiar words and acquire familiarity with narrative patterns. Then they may re-create those patterns and use that vocabulary in both oral and written compositions. Or they may retell those tales to peer audiences at school or at home. Once you get storytelling going, there is no telling where it will take you.

Target audience and technical requirements:

At least an intermediate level of English is required to enjoy these stories. Our typical storytelling presentations last for about 50 minutes. Our target audience is made up of teenagers at bilingual schools, young adults at “profesorados” and “traductorados” and their teachers. Taking into account the type of environment involved for storytelling (classroom, outdoor schoolyard, school auditorium, roofed gym), sound equipment, microphones and technicians provided by the teaching institution may be additionally required.

According to the students’ language level, tales told include folktales, tall tales, myths, legends, scary stories, urban legends and literary short-stories by well-known authors.

Our professional background:

Alicia Serra: Storyteller, English teacher graduated at CONSUDEC, where I worked for over twelve years teaching Geography, History and Ethics.

As a storyteller I have been telling stories to children and adolescents in primary and high schools since 2003. I tell to special children and to elderly people in day centers and have also made performances at theaters, libraries, coffee shops, and storytelling festivals in Buenos Aires, Necochea (BA province), Villa María and Alta Gracia (Cordoba province), and was a storyteller at the Buenos Aires “Feria Internacional del Libro” in 2008. I am the storyteller of CILSA (NGO for integration) since 2007. I was invited to give a seminar on “Storytelling in a Foreign Language” by the English Department of Morón University during 2008.

http://www.cuenta-cuentos.com.ar/ (for more information and full CV).
Phone: 156-805-8794 // 4621 6958.
E-mail: palabrera@yahoo.com.ar

Gabriela Villano: Sworn translator (Universidad del Salvador), conference interpreter, writer, storyteller, writing workshop leader.

As a professional story-teller, she has offered regular performances since 2004 for children and adults at schools and other educational institutions, day centers, theaters, libraries, coffee houses and storytelling festivals and marathons in Buenos Aires, Olavarría (BA province), Alta Gracia and Villa María (Córdoba province). She also performed at the Buenos Aires “Feria Internacional del Libro” in 2006 and 2008. She has featured on radio programs in live broadcasts at BA-based radio stations.

As a writer, she has published short-stories and novels in Spanish since the ‘80s in Argentina, Chile, Spain and Mexico. She was awarded international literary prizes for her short-stories in Spain in 2007 and 2008.

She runs a blog on Literature and Storytelling in Spanish called “Los cuentos del Villano” (Tales by a Villain).

E-mail: loscuentosdelvillano@gmail.com

Contact us for scheduling, fees and set-up information.

Si mi trabajo te resultó útil y de valor, comprá alguno de mis libros para regalar o para regalarte. Tu contribución y apoyo ayudarán a mantener los servicios de calidad de este blog. Consultá “Mis libros”. Gracias. G.V.

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