Virtual Round Table Web Conference

Storytelling in ESL classroom

Event Details

Storytelling in ESL classroom

Time: March 26, 2011 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Location: Live Online in Adobe ConnectPro
Website or Map: http://lancelot.adobeconnect.…
Event Type: workshop
Organized By: Heike Philp
Latest Activity: Mar 26, 2011

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Event Description

Saturday, 26 March 2011 – 5:30pm GMT 
Hawaii 7:30am, Los Angeles 10:30am, New York 1:30pm, London 5:30pm, Paris 6:30pm, Dubai 9:30pm, New Delhi 11pm, Beijing 1:30am, Tokyo 2:30am (Sat), Sydney 4:30am (Sat)
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Storytelling is the ancient form of education whose appeal has been rediscovered in modern times. Cultures told tales to pass down beliefs to future generations. Stories capture learners’ imaginations, emotions, minds and heart.  Storytelling sparks learners’ interests; aids flow of classes; makes material memorable; overcomes anxiety and builds good rapport.


About Faisal Ibrahim Al-Shamali

Faisal Ibrahim Al-Shamali got an MA in Linguistics, Jordan 1998. He has been teaching English Language since 1994. He taught English Language at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia; Dhofar University, Oman; IH, Chiang Mai, Thailand. He got CELTA in 2009. He got a TEYL and E-Teacher Professional Development certificates, UMBC, USA 2010.  He joined webinars in Ukraine and Jordan. He got an E-Certificate by American Embassy, Jordan. He is registered in an online course by university of Oregon on CT. Also, he is registered in Webinar course held in Washington DC. He attended and presented at numerous international conferences in Jordan, Oman, Thailand, USA, etc. He is a member in TESOL.

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Comment by Tara Benwell on March 25, 2011 at 6:08pm
I really hope to be here!
Comment by Janet Bianchini on March 25, 2011 at 4:21pm

HI Faisal


Your presentation looks really interesting.  I'm looking forward to attending! Thank you for the article below.  I enjoyed reading it.


Best of luck!



Comment by faisal ibrahim shamali on March 17, 2011 at 7:13pm
Comment by faisal ibrahim shamali on March 17, 2011 at 7:12pm

WHAT IS STORYTELLING? by Faisal shamali

Storytelling is a skill that can be effectively directed to improve other skills, such as writing, grammar, listening, and speaking. Donald Davis, a noted storyteller, teaches storytelling as a bridge between a child’s “first language” (gestures and speech) and “second language” (writing).

Storytelling is the oldest form of education. Cultures around the world have always told tales as a way of passing down their beliefs, traditions, and history to future generations.

Storytelling in any form is a natural way for students to build literacy skills. Students learn how to tell a story by writing it down, talking about it, and actively listening to someone else’s story. All these activities teach essential language skills in vividly meaningful contexts.


Teachers use storytelling in language teaching for several reasons. One of the preliminary reasons is the funny and entertaining atmosphere storytelling creates in the classroom. A teacher of English needs to be imaginative and creative, and telling stories in English language teaching can surely make the process of teaching and learning more motivating, interesting, and interactive. Following are some of the numerous reasons for using storytelling effectively in your classroom:

Promotes a feeling of well-being and relaxation

Increases children’s willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings

Fosters awareness of one’s unique imagination and creativity

Builds verbal self-confidence

Integrates multiple learning contexts (reading, listening, speaking, writing, grammar, vocabulary) into a single instructional input

Builds community chemistry

Enhances reading, listening, and critical thinking skills

Fosters teacher-learner collaboration (Fitzgibbon & Wilhelm, 1998)

Enthralls empathy


Storytelling provides a valuable source of authentic language materials and there are hundreds of ways to use it in ELT. Listening to stories can develop important skills such as prediction, guessing, hypothesizing, and message decoding. Lots of different fun activities spin off from stories: story completion, summary writing, discussion, role playing, story experience, the narrative approach, story act-out, spinning stories, group story, story interpretation, story writing, change the story, picture story, jigsaw story, strip story, tell a story, to name several.


There is strong evidence to support the use of storytelling in the ESL/EFL classroom. It provides learners with a comprehensible input that facilitates language acquisition (Hendrickson, 1992) in a fun way. Using storytelling in the classroom has pros and cons. What are they?


Gains the students’ attention

Enables the students to be exposed to a moral dilemma

Enables the students to be exposed to a problem-solving exercise

Enables students to share stories of success

Develops a sense of community

Explores personal roles

Makes sense of learners’ lives

Contains linguistic information including vocabulary, grammar, and language sense

Reduces learners’ intensity of the language-learning phobia

Invokes learners’ curiosity, concentration, imagination, and critical thinking

Enhances facilitation

Develops rapport and respect

Provides moral lessons


Requires a lot of time (Rosen, 1988)

Requires much preparation

Takes up a large proportion of the teaching session

Requires a “safe” environment for students

Topic may be threatening if it challenges personal values (Fairbairn, 2002)

If students are b

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