Not yet a storyteller?
Although listening to a professional storyteller in school is clearly a valuable experience for students, it is usually going to be an infrequent treat. Fortunately, however, storytelling is not only a matter of professional tellers. The most important storyteller is there every lesson: you – the regular English teacher who can make stories an integral part of the whole language learning process.
Some teachers welcome this opportunity. Others may feel intimidated by a lack of performance experience. Seeing a professional mesmerising a class of students can encourage the mistaken conviction that “I could never do that!” But storytelling takes many forms. Professionals coming for a one-off visit to a group of unknown students easily choose a dramatic style guaranteed to reach out and form them into a willing audience. The situation of the classroom teacher is different: you may enjoy the chance to perform as a professional does, but you certainly do not have to. A quieter manner of telling may be just as effective. But whatever style suits you, your students will not only listen, they will love to listen. And this gives you the chance to explore the potential of regular storytelling in the language classroom. That is how I began many years ago, just discovering myself as a teller and at the same time discovering how storytelling could be integrated as a major part of the learning process.