The stories they tell

Wang, Yi (2020) The stories they tell. Modern English Teacher, 29 (2). pp. 78-80. ISSN 0308-0587

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Abstract or Summary

For literacy development at lower levels, finding the right teaching materials can be a challenge due to learners’ diverse cultural, educational, and personal backgrounds. In this presentation, I report on a learner-story-based approach to multi-literacy development that I used with four groups of ESOL beginners. All were domestic students, both migrants and former refugees, some of whom had received little or no formal education. The approach involves ‘speaking and writing out’ learners’ stories, which then become reading material and the basis for further writing. It follows five key phases: 1) start with a real life situation related to one or most learners; 2) talk with learners and co-construct a story about it; 3) draft up the story as well as creating quick follow-up exercises; 4) learners read the story and do the exercises, individually and collaboratively, silently and verbally; and 5) finally learners follow the pattern and write up their own stories. Using a reflective practice approach, I have developed this over four cycles with a hundred students or so, and found it effective, desirable and feasible; learner feedback has been encouraging and highly positive. Two interesting implications arise: First, this approach could be readily applied to other contexts – primary, secondary, or tertiary – with ESOL learners of diverse backgrounds; Second, some student stories could be publishable, internally or externally, to be shared as reading resources.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords that describe the item:Diverse learners, inclusive teaching, learner-story-based approach, multi-literacy development
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
L Education > LT Textbooks
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Languages
ID Code:7400
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Deposited On:05 Nov 2020 05:22
Last Modified:05 Nov 2020 05:22

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