Demo Thursdays were the best part of the class, but this particular one was AMAZING!
It was february, the 22nd. I remember I arrived early, waiting expectant for another surprising demo thursday, because they are always a surprise: you can’t imagine what is going to happen once the clock strikes 10:00, but you just sit and wait patiently for THE moment to come.
This part of the week was my favorite, because it was like being in a class of “how to teach” or “what to do” in the classroom. From this sessions I have a lot of memories and crazy ideas to bring to my own practice once I have the opportunity to do it, and that is because I started to reflect a lot about the things English education in Colombia needs to improve, thanks to this Methods and Approaches class.
After this introduction, let’s talk about my best Demo Thursday experience: Reading aloud/storytelling. López-Ladino (2016) points out that “Stories are an inherent part of the human oral tradition; they offer a view to comprehend and make sense of the world, at the time students explore and enjoy the relation between fantasy, imagination, and reality”; I definitely agree with her, and I strongly think that stories are the best way to make students closer to the target language (and mother language too), because stories use it to make students’ imagination work.
As their name points it, Demo Thursdays are about demos! And the best thing of this day was the recreation of a storytelling activity: Professor Mora read us some stories from different books in different ways, and I was fascinated: I felt like a little child who is just listening a story and whose biggest work in that moment was to imagine what was happenning in the reading. He invented voices for each character of the story and it was totally wonderful, funny and incredible. I remembered when my mom and dad read me stories before going to bed, and made jokes and rare voices that made me laugh: that’s when I started loving reading! And that’s what I want to transmit to my students in my daily practice: that love for reading.
During all this time preparing for being a language teacher I have asked myself in which ways could I include reading to make language more funny and interesting to my students. I realize that reading plays a big role in the acquisition of a target language, but the fact that not all the students are interested on reading is a disappointing reality too. Here is when I start looking for elements that allow me to integrate reading as a tool that motivates students while they are learning about a topic.
This Demo Thursday remains in my mind since that day, because in my diverse contexts practice my principal task was to support the reading promotion processes in the school I was assignated to; so, I prepared activities with short readings (generally stories) to work with some groups. After this demo thursday I understood very well how I had to do my job and the way I had to proceed. My dream is that with my intervention students get to enjoy reading as much as I do, because in my mind there is a big space for the benefits of reading from an early age.
Reading has the power to engage people from all ages, because imagination never dies. This experience was one of my favorites in that class, and I am sure of the fact that I want to implement a lot of strategies that include reading (and most of all, storytelling) as much as I can. Thanks to this class I have a baggage that allows mi to take a first step planning my classes to make them different, but the most important: unique and meaningful!
López-Ladino, M. (2016) Micropaper lslp: http://www.literaciesinl2project.org/uploads/3/8/9/7/38976989/lslp-micro-paper-42-storytelling.pdf