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and tries to find out what parts can be offered as (or in) a small story. This means adding elements like place, time, actions, emotions and intentions of characters, sensory details, plots, metaphors, … in order to create images and atmosphere. One can think of teaching about physics and using stories like Archimedes in his bath crying out “Eureka” or Newton witnessing the apple dropping to the ground in his mother’s garden. All this can be done orally or digitally. (

its importance to culture and to the connection between language and meaning can all be supported through stories and storytelling. This can clearly enhance the learning of the children’s own mother tongue.

Both approaches can also be envisaged from the pupils’/ students’ angle . They can start from existing stories and work with content, values … and practice performing skills. They can also ‘story’ their content e.g. creating an oral or digital story on a theme or piece of knowledge they have chosen.

Much contemporary analysis shows that there are problems with current practices of language teaching and current levels of learner performance. Several surveys show that young learners are not engaged with the content of language learning in its functional approach, which is often their suggested diet in language lessons as they are taught today. But these same surveys indicate that they are much more interested in other cultures and in the world of imagination. Storytelling is a prime example of a context which can inspire and interest young people, both to understand and then to acquire and re-use language creatively. Therefore the use of storytelling as an educational tool would not only enhance the acquisition of the foreign languages but also play an important role on the level of the motivation for doing so.

In this manual you will find a number of good practices and pilot projects illustrating these approaches.

Competences The TALES team also wanted to link the European Lifelong Learning Key Competences to storytelling in the classroom. Which key competences are developed best through storytelling activities in class?

Gaining verbal and communication skills in the mother tongue


Language is our most sophisticated ability. It lies at the root of our culture. It is imperative, then, that we give children and youngsters rich experiences with words and with constructing meaning through use of language. Sharing stories can give youngsters more of a “sense of story”- an awareness that can help them in both reading and writing, it also encourages exploration and experimentation with language. Developing an understanding of characters, a knowledge of sequencing and story structure, a sensitivity to oral language and

Developing skills in a second or foreign language and intercultural understanding

Digital competences

Information nowadays is “whatever, whenever and wherever” available . Teachers are no longer information givers but are bridge builders between this ubiquitous information and the student. In TALES we also built a multimedia platform to allow our narrators to tell and exchange their stories in a media-rich environment. As such both teachers and learners can work within learning communities. It will involve the critical use of Internet and social media to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet. This will enhance the digital competences of the pupils and teachers.

TALES manual - English version  
TALES manual - English version