Departmental Bulletin Paper Examining pupils’ image of English, before and after short storytelling sessions, in a Japanese primary school.

NEMOTO, Alison

 Humans have been motivated and inspired by stories since the beginning of civilization itself and storytelling can be found in even the most primitive cultures. Regarding literacy skills for native speakers, it is said that; “The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it, (Trelease, 20013, pp.4) Children naturally search for meaning in the pictures, words and sounds presented in picture books, and easily pick up language used repeatedly, so reading picture books aloud could be considered an ideal introduction to foreign languages for young children. In this study, pupils’ preconceived image of English as a subject was compared before and after a series of ten short storytelling sessions. Findings from the completed questionnaires indicate that this narrative based approach of reading picture books out loud and watching university students acting out original plays, were considered enjoyable and easy to understand by the pupils and had the added effect of enhancing the majority of the pupils’ image of English as a subject, in a positive way.

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