Over the last few years I’ve been asked several times if I have a video of storytelling in class. I never got around to making one, until now, when my good friend Wendy Farabaugh went solo and obliged the Ohio Foreign Language Association with a reprise of our 2016 session on storytelling. This year the Central States conference and the Ohio conference weren’t held together and I couldn’t do both in the same month, so Wendy agreed to do the session without me. It’s super fun to watch Wendy do a story and I had no doubt she’d pull off an outstanding session, but then she asked me if I could show up anyway, via video.
Well, um, I suppose so.
I had a parent record me telling a story to my class of 10 or so young learners, ages 7 to 12. About half of these children have had class with me once a week for three sixteen-week semesters, plus some weeks in this semester, and the other half have just had class with me since last fall, so they’re in their second semester. And of course there’s my daughter, who is functionally bilingual when she has to be.
My memory card was full at 5 minutes so you really only see the introduction to the story and the beginning of the conflict in the storyline, but it’s enough to get the gist of how I work when I tell a story. The full story lasted perhaps 12-15 minutes.
It’s a tough thing to offer yourself up on the internet in a video, especially when I’ve been sorely criticized for doing this once before, but enough people asked me for it that I decided to put it out here anyway. This isn’t the magic prescription for the perfect storytelling method. This is a video with a few tips that have really worked for me and my learners and may work for you, too. Believe me, I’m aware of my poor wardrobe choices, quirks in pronunciation, Pinterest-unworthy classroom decor, super healthy Coke machine, and probably anything that doesn’t match up with a given definition of communication or language acquisition principles. But I’m on a continual journey to improve my storytelling and I enjoy it. I hope something in here helps you too.