"My 3 Best Story Teaching Methods to Develop Integrated Language Skills."

                         Where English is the second or third language, we need effective teaching methods to teach stories and texts at primary level so that our students develop all four language skills. And such methods should help teachers to minimize the use of the mother tongue and establish an English-speaking environment in the classrooms. Such methods should also help the students to develop and practise all four language skills for daily life situations. We also know that students at primary level are at a cognitive level whereby they are not interested in or able to learn by listening to the teacher teach. So keeping all these things in mind and the level of my students, I have been using three types of teaching method to teach stories and texts to my early primary students. These are...

1. Picture/Story Cards Method:
                            My children are very poor in English and it was quite difficult to develop reading skills with them. They couldn't even understand simple stories without me translating into the mother tongue. So, to reduce the reading burden and help them understand, I prepared picture or story cards for every lesson. I turned each story into a picture story by preparing picture cards for every sentence in the story. The cards illustrated the contextual meaning of each sentence and key vocabulary, so if a story had 30 sentences, I prepared 30 pictures based on the key words in each sentence. Then I began telling the stories using these pictures.
                           After two or three periods the students were able to recite the sentences while looking at the pictures. Once they were orally good, I added reading slips to the pictures. And next, I told the story using the pictures and sentence slips. I pointed to and read every word on the slip along with the picture to enable them to visualize the words they were orally repeating. Finally, I told the story using only the sentence slips to develop their reading skills. I also got the learners to match the picture cards to the sentence slips to consolidate reading and understanding.
This method really helped me to reduce the use of the mother tongue, and it helped my students to develop their reading skills quite quickly. Now they are very good at reading and it took just three months! I can't believe how effective this method was.
                           Later I prepared self-access videos using these pictures and slips for very low-performance children. You can watch these videos on my YouTube channel "Rajesh Kouluri", for example see ‘My Village’ here

"This teaching method was selected as one of the best top 20 teaching with technology methods in India by the British Council and Central Square Foundation."

And was published in "Teaching and technology: Case Studies from India"

2. Collage Based Teaching Method:
                               A picture plays a vital role in teaching a story. Therefore, we need to prepare well in advance for picture interaction so that students acquire the target language. Creating pictures for story-telling is a language teaching skill, and one technique I have found successful is the collage technique. With this technique, I prepared the background and images separately. I pasted these images one by one onto the background while eliciting the story and drawing attention to the target language.
            In the pictures below, you can see how I pasted the pictures one by one. First, I showed the background and asked my students questions. I wrote their responses on the board. Next, I added a big tree and elicited responses to questions. Next, I pasted the house and interacted with the students, and so on. This is how we created the story – animating the picture through interaction. Before pasting each picture, I asked my students to make predictions, and in this way, we created the entire story by pasting on the small images. This technique created great interest among my children. And after completing the story, my students were able to write a few sentences about it.

3.Puppetry Presentation Method:
                            This is one of my best teaching methods to teach a story. I proudly say that a good method always gives excellent output in spite of the children standards.
                            I found this Puppet Show method on the  "Teaching English: Fun Learning" facebook page and decided to teach the story of "The Cunning Fox". The characters in this particular story contributed greatly to its success.
                              I prepared the puppets of Cat, Fox, River, and Fish to teach the lesson. The first time I told the story using the puppets, I needed to resort to use of the mother tongue for some sentences that were difficult to understand. The second time I taught the whole lesson in English only. The children engaged a lot and started reciting the sentences when I showed and moved the puppets. Later, I assigned the characters and dialogues to my children and let them organize the puppet show themselves. It was unbelievable how effectively they acted out the story using the puppets! I created a video of my children performing the puppet show and added subtitles to aid understanding. Please watch it, and I hope you use this method in your teaching.

                  This teaching method example was selected as one the most innovative by the Minister of Human Resource and Development, SSA - India and published on their website.

                           So I would like to say that the teaching method is more important than anything to overcome the hurdles of English language learning, especially for children from rural areas.

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Unknown said…
Very useful ideas Rajesh! I'm sure the children loved these activities.
Liana said…
Very interesting. Definitely an article to bookmark. Thank you :-)
Very much impressive and adoptable methods. Thanks for sharing rajesh.
Ann said…
Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be putting up a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for comments.

Unknown said…
Very advisibule and interesting dedicative methods you are introduced, Rajesh ...very. Good, God will bless in your work always
I suggest you try to improve, and use interesting methods to children learning development..byAp.Rao.Makkuva.A.p.vzm (DT)
Unknown said…
Good luck see above idea's with my lovely interest it was suggested to you Rajesh.
Unknown said…
Excellent, it is very innovative pupils enjoy.it is quite useful for teaching
Unknown said…
Excellent . A good effort by you Rajesh.
Unknown said…
This blog is very much useful, I use this blog usually...
Very useful children love it very much
Unknown said…
with minimal resources you are capable of creating wonderful activities and it is very inspirational.
Thanks for innovative strategies

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