Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Storytelling

29th March 2020

This lesson is to encourage students to think creatively, and to help them with sentence buildings by encouraging the use of discourse markers and complex sentences.

Additionally, here is a golden opportunity to utilise adjectives and adverbs, so often conspicuous by their absence, not to mention a chance to create dialogues where characters can use idioms, expressions and features of everyday real English.

Let’s kick off (start) with an example.

Storytelling

Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ? How do they meet ?

Students can here perform a task suited to their level.

Firstly, just describe the photos. Remember do not start with a pronoun (he, she, it). Instead, tell me what you see.

Example: I see a young lady with a bow in her hair NOT She has a bow in her hair.

For more advanced students, explain more about the young lady. Do you think she is beautiful (or pretty, cute, adorable, gorgeous) ? What are her origins ? She looks Asian, but she could live anywhere in the world. Describe how she looks and what she’s wearing. What do you think her personality is ?

After, do the same with the young man.

For advanced students, look at the background. The young lady is standing in a white room, with a book and some flowers. What does that suggest to you ? White is often associated with purity and innocence. Flowers could be sweet and feminine (although different flowers have different significance in different cultures), while the book indicates education and intelligence. Her hair bow appears to have musical notes as a pattern, so possible she is a musician ?

As for IELTS students, write a description then replace any basic words with low-frequency vocabulary (example, replace beautiful with gorgeous, stunning etc).

Now, let’s get creative:

Write a short story using dialogue and adjectives.

MOTIVATION: why do the characters do what they do ?

PLOT: what happens … and why ?

CHARACTERS: make sure each one is an individual and speaks differently.

Ideas:

Where do they meet ?

How do they meet ?

How do they know each other ?

What do they think of each other and how do they express it ?

EXAMPLE:

Boram, a young Korean lady, is at home getting ready to go out. She has put on her favourite white and pink dress and, with her lucky pink bow in her luscious chestnut hair, looks absolutely stunning.

Today she is going to meet her cousin who is coming to Seoul for the first time. Boram needs to practice violin, because she plays in the university orchestra and they have an important concert coming up, however, she is concerned about her cousin getting lost in the big bewildering city. That is typical of Boram, always putting other people first. She is a very sweet and thoughtful caring lady.

[In the first sentence I named the lady – Boram. Therefore, we can use a pronoun – she – because we know the subject]

Tell me about her cousin, Leon.

Now, try the same exercise with any of these situations:

Ethnic indian mixed race girl and black guy in library | Premium Photo
American Jewish Committee | The Electronic Intifada
Lost Pensions – SJ Financial Solutions Blog

Next time, we can work on dialogue … have fun and STAY SAFE

2 thoughts on “Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Storytelling

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