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Teach English in Gongyeyuan - Huai'an Shi
Classroom activities using storytelling Classroom activities are necessary for a teacher plan a class. If an entire class is taught by the teacher without interaction, students' interest will be greatly reduced. Once the students' attention decreases, teacher's teaching effect will be affected and the students' learning results will not be achieved. Therefore, appropriate classroom activities are useful to mobilize the atmosphere of the whole class. Storytelling is a good choice as an interaction between teachers and students, especially in a language course, an English teaching session. It can not only engage students at the beginning of the class, and also improve their literacy skills as well as other abilities such as critical thinking. In the following, this paper will discuss the advantages of using storytelling in an EFL classroom. First of all, storytelling can guide students well in the engage stage at the beginning of the class and make them integrate into the class. As we learned in the TEFL 120-hour course, it is effective for a teacher to hold an engage section before the study section in a lesson, to warm up the students in the classroom. Furthermore, the form of telling the story is diverse. Teachers can use pictures or anything else to tell the story and then expand it in order to ask some questions to the students in this engage stage. Meanwhile, this form of learning probably increased students’ vocabulary learning as well. Based on Hwang and her team’s research about students’ learning achievement, storytelling may let learners better remember the new vocabulary (2014). This activities in the engage stage build up a good foundation for the next ‘study’ stage in the lesson. Secondly, storytelling activity improve students’ English using skills, including listening, speaking, reading and writing (Maureen 2018; Vecino 2016). There was an experiment done by Maureen and her research team that the storytelling approach increased students’ literacy skills significantly, especially the early childhood education. The team members compared two group of students who receive traditional literacy class and the others have storytelling activities. It came out a result that this method better enhances the literacy development in an early childhood classroom (Maureen et al. 2018). Furthermore, when the students listen story from the teacher, they practice and improving their listening skill at that time. They may not understand every word of the story, but they may capture some key words from the story in order to understand based on the stories’ own context. This is the type of teacher tells a story to the students, while it may increase students’ speaking skills if the activity is letting the students to tell a story. Hwang found out that using this type of activities in EFL lesson may effectively promote learners’ speaking skills (2014). Thirdly, except for the skills of how to use English language, such as the literacy skills, storytelling may also improve other abilities during its activities. For example, each story have its special meaning, which can help students to learn more different values, knowledge or beliefs from various English language countries’ culture. Meanwhile, it may also develop their critical thinking skills (Vecino 2016). Teachers may require students to give some feedback of the story, so that to guide them have their creative or special thinking about the story. In summary, storytelling is a useful classroom activity. It does not mean that storytelling is the best teaching method, since different students or diverse class aims may have their own suitable teaching activities. However, this storytelling activity is a good choice for the EFL classroom, for the teachers’ lesson plan (engage session) as well as improve students diverse learning skills. References Hwang, W.-Y., Shadiev, R., Hsu, J.-L., Huang, Y.-M., Hsu, G.-L., & Lin, Y.-C. (2014). Effects of storytelling to facilitate EFL speaking using Web-based multimedia system. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(2), 215–241. Maureen, I. Y., Meij, H. V. D., & Jong, T. D. (2018). Supporting Literacy and Digital Literacy Development in Early Childhood Education Using Storytelling Activities. International Journal of Early Childhood, 50(3), 371–389. Vecino, A. (2016). Using storytelling with adult EFL learners: an enriching classroom experience. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, (8), 254.