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Telling Stories

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I tell stories quite often to my second year middle school students. First I write down a story in the language I would use in class (probably a lot easier than normal fairy tale language. For example the King says "Go away, leave my castle and my country!" He does NOT say "I hereby banish you from my castle, kingdom...") So after I have written it down, I look at what difficult language remains. (cave, deliver, terrible, traveler, stab) and then go to class. First thing I write those tricky and or new words on the board and describe them until one of the brighter students can supply the Korean. Then I tell the story. I tell the story as slowly as possible, with as little flowery additions as I can... but also very dramatically. I snore
loudly when the dragon is sleeping and I clasp my hands in delight when the princess is in love, I hop about on one foot when the one legged man comes to the camp site and I growl like a wolf. I also use the students. I will cut off their head and hold it aloft, shake their hands, treat them as the king I am begging a favor from on bended knee, etc. After I finish the story I write some other words on the board, the difficult spelling ones and some key vocabulary from the story (but words they know, things like tongue, dragon, princesses, etc.) I also usually write "Once upon a time..." then I ask them to write down the story, or as much as they understood/remember. This can be hilarious, to see their mistakes (the hero killed the princess... uhhh, what?). I walk around the room and check to see how they are doing, but any reasonable approximation I encourage. I don't correct things very much. It's more did they understand what they were hearing than can they write it perfectly at this point. If you tell the story in a
captivating way the students will not mind the exercise. I have used classics such as Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood, but I find it works best when they didn't hear the story in Korean. Just buy an Aesops or something if you need new material.

It works for me, it's a lot of fun, and it's a darn good comprehension/listening exercise.

Name: Cedar
Email: Umyang@bigfoot.com
Location: Daegu, Korea

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