Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strategy of Using Storytelling in Teaching Listening Narrative Text

Telling narrative text is different from reading narrative text. In some ways, telling is easier than reading aloud. In reading, technical problems such as the book he or she is holding may become a physical barrier between him or her and the audience. In telling, one can shape the narrative text to one's own need. When telling the narrative text, one can address the audience directly, she/he can make eye contact, use gesture and mime freely, and maintain a community of attention between teller and listener (Morgan & Rinvolucri, 1983).
There are some strategies used for telling a story. First is introducing the narrative text. The teacher can introduce the narrative text by telling the title or asking the students to guess the title, talking about the characters, giving new vocabulary or asking questions about the narrative text. It is sometimes essential for comprehension, before beginning a tale, to make some background comments on new or difficult vocabulary or the cultural assumptions and setting of the narrative text (Pederson, 1995).

Second, use oral interpretations and gestures in the narrative text's presentation. Ross cited in Cox (1999) suggests that the teacher can practice gestures that add to the story. Use only gestures that come naturally. Facial expressions and movement are also vital aids. The most important thing is the teacher should get involve in the narrative text.
Third, the audience absolutely must hear everything loudly and clearly. It is important to try for a pleasant, intimate, smooth, low-pitched tone of voice. Altering the speed and pitch, giving different tones to different characters will add to the emotional impact. So, the teacher should concentrate on the voice.
Fourth, maintain eye contact with students. Eye contact is important to hold the listener's attention and involve the listener in the narrative text. It is also used to check understanding and give instant feedback to the students.
Fifth, use props sparingly. Telling narrative text will be more fun and interesting if the teacher uses visual aids such as pictures, puppets, costumes, bells, etc. However, the teacher should be wise to choose the appropriate visual aids to avoid an unnecessary distraction.
The last is pay attention to the physical setting. When telling a narrative text, eliminate distractioan as much as possible. The teacher needs a quiet and comfortable room. She/he can tell a narrative text standing up for more freedom of movement or sitting on a stool for better eye-contact. The students can sit on a semi-circle of chairs or sit in a tight circle on a carpet for more intimacy.

Cox, C. 1999. Teaching Language Art. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Morgan & Rinvolucri. 1983. Once Upon a Time: Using Stories in the Language Classroom. Cambridge University Press.
Pederson, E. M. 1995. Storytelling and the Art of Teaching. English Teaching Forum, 33(1). pp. 2-5.


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