February 23rd 2011 archive

Stories

Martine series

 

 

 

 

image taken here

As Andrew Wright said ‘We are all stories’ and because of that stories are very important in our lives. Once my daughter (when she was very little) told me that ’ a storyteller living in the sky reads our stories to us every day and we act  in our stories.’ she imagined that the storyteller was an old lady.

When I go back to my childhood, I vividly remember just one teacher who used to read a story to us every Friday in the last lesson.

I also remembered those Fridays because after the school my mum would take me to the small book shop on the corner of our street to buy a book (or two) to read at the weekend. Those Friday-book-buying habit started when I was at grade 2 and continued till the day I started to go out alone and buy my own books with my pocket money. Of course I started with picture books and my favourites were the Martine series as those books were beautifully illustrated.

The weekends were the days I would dive into a dream world with those books. Of course we only had one channel to watch and we had neither computer games nor loads of toys as today’s kids have and as a result I became a bookworm.

I sometimes feel desperate when my kids say ‘books are boring.’ I hope they will become good readers as well.

From the day I attended a friend’s workshop last year, I have been thinking about using those storybooks as a course material, especially in primary.

Those books, as many of you will agree, have everything a course book has. If you use any picture book, mainly prepared for foreign language learners, you will see that those will be very useful in the class.

Most of those story books are beautifully illustrated. The stories are meaningful. They are mostly humorous and they enhance learning spontaneously. The repetitions in the stories make the target language memorable.

The picture books or story books can be used to teach new structure or review the one you’ve recently taught. They can be a good way to review vocabulary you’ve recently taught or a good way to practise the target language. They will also give a chance to your students to create similar texts if you ask them to write their own stories.  Moreover, you can turn them into a school play.