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Familiar children’s tales to come alive

- VCD to aid teachers in storytelling released

Jorhat, Feb. 11: The all-so-familiar tales like The hare and the tortoise, The monkey and the crocodile will soon come alive for children in vernacular medium elementary schools of the state.

The District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) at Titabar here is bringing out a VCD containing comprehensive instructions on how teachers can make storytelling in English an entertaining exercise without resorting to translating them into the mother tongue.

The recently released VCD is being distributed to teachers undertaking training at DIET.

Uttam Kumar Bordoloi, principal of the institute, said there were many stories in the textbooks that children could not get the opportunity to enjoy because the teacher rarely used the right storytelling approach.

“In fact, they read stories which ultimately compels them to explain it in the mother tongue and sometimes they find it very tasking to help the children actually enjoy the beauty of storytelling. This is an exercise to garner their interest in English, which is a second language for the students,” Bordoloi said.

“Our endeavour is to present a story in various meaningful ways like dramatisation, role play, puppets and by employing different teaching aids like posters, tape recorders and the like. This VCD has been developed keeping in mind the special needs of a teacher during classroom interactions and it is our first venture of this kind,” he added.

Krishna Dutta Deka, a lecturer of the institute, said stories had been selected to aid storytelling, as it formed an important part not only in everyday communication but was also useful in language teaching.

“Narrating something, telling stories and telling important events play an important role in language learning. Children learn many things from stories, gaining knowledge related to history, culture, kinship, moral values and other things. This helps them gain a better sense of self-respect and also develops their confidence,” she said.

The instructions given to teachers in the VCD pertain to the use of audio and visual aids and use of appropriate gestures as well as how they can dramatise the tales by making students enact the characters.

“Things that a teacher should keep in mind are expression of emotions, eye contact, interaction, response from children by way of nods, smiles. A good introduction or a few words at the beginning of the storytelling session will prepare the children mentally to enjoy the story and be motivated,” Dutta Deka said.

Emphasis has been given on good pronunciation and in making the stories interesting to the children by basing it on a child’s prior knowledge. In this context, the teacher has been asked to give key words to the students so that they can work in groups to develop new stories.

Among the stories included in the VCD are The scholar’s mother tongue, Androcles and the lion, Gulliver’s Travels, The dove and the hunter, The sour grapes, The ant and the dove, The wooden horse besides The hare and the tortoise and The monkey and the crocodile.