Storytelling as a Strategy to Increase Oral Language Proficiency of Second Language Learners, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
by Kathleen Massa
I am writing this unit because of the desperate need for more oral language instruction. Today more than ever students are coming into school with insufficient language knowledge. Our students’ oral language skills are not developed enough to support the curriculum and objectives we teachers are pushing so hard. They require formal language instruction before they can be expected to become fluent readers, writers, and thinkers.
This unit is a focused, intensive unit on storytelling. Storytelling is the strategy I use to help obtain oral language proficiency among second language learners and students with deficient language skills. Storytelling gives the students the daily practice they need in order to advance their language skills. This unit will help the students understand how telling stories and story structure enable them to express themselves more clearly. The students will also learn through storytelling that their ability to listen to others will increase, expanding both their vocabulary, knowledge base and sentence structure.
Because this unit is focused on second language learners, my partner teacher who teaches the Spanish component will be working with the students who are learning Spanish as their second language, while I am working with the students who are learning English as their second language.