Enthralling tales from afar.

I came across an interesting news report via my GoogleAlerts from The Kerryman paper in Ireland, entitled Enthralling tales from afar. The report begins…

It goes on to say that this is the second time that this type of visit has been made possible by the GoetheInstitut, and that the aim of the exercise was to encourage primary pupils to learn German in a fun environment.

“There has been a growing interest in teaching and learning modern foreign languages at primary level in Europe and research shows how enthusiastic teachers and children are,” Georgia Herlt, head of the language department at the Goethe-Institut Dublin, stated.

“As well as learning languages it helps with cultural awareness and combats stereotypes, and the children are geared up for it when they go to secondary school.”

The visits saw Suse Weisse using familiar and less well known fairytales in German (with explanations in English).
I love using stories to teach primary languages for many reasons. For example;

  • familiarity of structure
  • familiarity of story
  • children enjoy being read to
  • making links between English and the language of the story
  • you can do all kinds of things with a story – drama, games, jigsaw texts
  • using them as a model for production of new stories
  • easy to embed sound in story powerpoints to help non specialist teachers
  • I enjoy doing the voices ;o)

I could go on!

So I’m all for these visits – when a Year2 class told me that they’d worked out from listening to and reading Rubiales on the Northumberland GfL that Spanish put the adjective after the noun whereas English put it before, I was sold on the use of stories to teach!

Off to see if I can find a Spanish storyteller now…;o)

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