Sharing ideas about teaching and leaning   Leave a comment

Sharing ideas



Now Engage with Your Peers

It just occurred to me that I should make better use of research findings, have a more practical approach to publicise research that would be relevant to teaching.

In my PhD, I have found that conversational narratives are a powerful way of improving an L2 learner’s linguistic, pragmatic and interactional competence. By the way, I also teach and train teachers. I find that personal narratives that come from personal experience can lead to incredible use of language over time and this also goes for spoken grammar. This is valid not just for primary school aged students but teenagers and adults.


Responding to storytelling may not be easy for students and there’s a unit in Beyond Talk that’s dedicated to responding to storytelling. Oral narratives have been going on for millennia and have been an important way of passing on traditions but also language and to develop relationships, conduct business, report an incident, etc. It’s a pervasive form of talk and therefore is such a natural way of interacting. In fact, that’s what we do a lot of the time and you may have noticed that now some of the buzz words in the media are narrative and conversation/let’s have a conversation about this.

Below is what neurosciences has to say about engaging in storytelling and how beneficial it is:



As a teacher, creating opportunities to engage students in narrating personal events, without resorting to topics that may not interest them is a fantastic way of getting them involved and producing authentic language.

This also may be done in writing so you can start with oral narratives and then get them to create a blog to write their stories and other students could respond to their stories. I did that using Wikispaces and it’s wonderful to see how students’ writing progressed over time and how they engage with each other. Students in small groups can also create a story about something they deeply care about and create a short film about it which can be then shown to other students. Then a discussion about each film can take place, and each group can explain what motivated them to make this film, tell this story, etc.

Have you tried any of the above? What other ideas do you have? What worked and what didn’t work so well?

Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? It’d be nice to share what works well for you. I’ve shared my story but what about yours? Share yours, respond to mine, let’s engage in a discussion, let’s be interactive! After all this is what it’s all about!

You can write in the space for comments underneath


Over to you now!


Posted 05/30/2016 by ESLandCAteaching

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