Teach English in WangjiAfan Zhen - Yichng Shi

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Stories serve to be entertaining and educating in most cultures. A nice bedtime story for young children becomes a ritual in a lot of families nowadays, it makes up a sweet memory for a lot of people. When the listener is interested at the story, even when there is no verbal communication between the storyteller and the listener, there is still a bond between them. Therefore, storytelling is such a powerful tool teachers could use. Storytelling could make the lesson more interesting and memorable. To build the bond between the students and the teacher during storytelling, the teacher has to make sure the attention of his/her audiences are fully attracted. To make sure the stories are interesting for students the teacher has to consider a number of factors when he decides on the type of stories to teach. The key factors are the age of the students and their English level. For children and older learners with limited English level, simple stories are preferred. These are stories using very simple repetitive words, it is even more helpful if pictures are also illustrated. A good example we could use is “No, David!” by David Shannon, this is a fun book to teach Children and beginner English students as the book contains repetitive and straightforward comments by David’s mother and a few simple rules David has to follow in the house. It is easy for our students of this level to comprehend especially when the scenario is similar to our students' family life. It is also easy for them to read along and even role play after the teacher read out the story. Another good story is “The very hungry caterpillar” by Eric Carle, it is easy and fun to read and it contains key words about fruits, days of the week, etc. However these may not be suitable for older students and students of a higher English level as they may find it too easy or too boring. Therefore when we choose stories for teenagers, we could find something of interest to them. We can start by teaching well known stories that they known in their mother tongue such as Snow white, Cinderella, etc. This way, they are familiar with the story contents before they hear it, this may boost their confidence in learning the material. Participation in elicitation exercise is likely to be higher when students are familiar with the story. Stories teachers pick for adult learners are usually based on relatively more mature topic such as stories regarding social phenomenon, autobiography of famous people, etc. Adult learners will find more connection to these materials and motivated to explore more. A good example would be the story of princess Diana, since it is based on real events that happened, so the students will be able to learn a lot of useful English vocabulary they could use in real life. Such story also promote communication in classroom since it may stimulate discussion and allows students to share their personal opinions. In conclusion, it is a difficult task to make all the lessons entertaining and educating, teachers have to put a tremendous effort in selecting the appropriate materials for their students.