Teach English in Yanbodu Zhen - Zhangjiajie Shi

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   Why is important stories for English learning in early childhood? If you want your children to be smart, tell them stories. If you want them to be brilliant, tell them more stories.-Albert Einstein Children have an innate love of stories. Stories create some magic and sense of wonder at the world. Listening and participating in stories develops a range of psychological, social and cultural skills. According to Tell it Again by Shirley Raines and Rebecca Isbell “Storytelling involves three essential elements: the story, the teller, and the listener”. A well selected story told by an effective storyteller captivate young listeners attention. Therefore, stories have become a key resource, playing a major role in early education. Story selection is indeed one of the most important roles of teacher. When selecting a story to use with young learners the teacher might consider questions like: Central characters are easy to identify by kids? Is the story an appropriate length-not too short, not too long? It is supported by illustrations that young learners will enjoy looking at? Have they repetitive words, phrases, rhymes and easy-to-follow sequence? Can illustration support the understanding of the text? Have a story a clear message or moral? How can stories be used? Before using a story, teacher will need to teach the students the key vocabulary words so they will be able to follow the story. The use of story in English teaching should be aimed to encourage the students to use what they have previously learnt. In the early childhood through stories can be developed literacy skills. The skills imparted in early literacy include visual and verbal identification of the letters, vocabulary acquisition and phonological awareness. Simply reading a story can prepare children learn to read and succeed in school. After story reading teacher can ask the children simple questions about stories. An exemple of question: Was Pinocchio a good boy? Did Pinocchio became a real boy? Listening a story can be audio books or teacher reading. Stories are also excellent for punctuation practice and pronunciation activities. Since young learners doesn’t speak English as a first language, the delivery is very important. The teacher should be sure that: *All students can clearly see the picture of the story, *Point precisely to the pictures while reading. * Tell the story with natural expression, emotion and interest. * Help students understand the story by using gestures and pointing out objects or actions in the artwork while reading (this is critical to help students understand the meaning of the story). * Encourage students to listen intently to identify words and phrases. * As students become more familiar with the story, ask questions after reading it so that they can answer using words, phrases or sentences used in stories. * Create opportunities for students to use the words and expressions within the stories. Solicit use of the words and expressions in natural conversation. Since the teacher’s goal is to help students to communicate fluently in the target language, reading a story she/he would provide an authentic model of language use. To do it, the teacher should focus not only linguistic but also on literary and cultural elements. Refferences: onstopenglish.com teachingenglish.org.uk teflcourse.net