A good story encourages us to turn the next page and read more. We want to find out what happens next and what the main characters do and what they say to each other. We may feel excited, sad, afraid, angry or really happy. This is because the experience of reading or listening to a story is much more likely to make us 'feel' that we are part of the story, too. Just like in our 'real' lives, we might love or hate different characters in the story. Perhaps we recognise ourselves or others in some of them. Perhaps we have similar problems.
Because of this natural empathy with the characters, our brains process the reading of stories differently from the way we read factual information. Our brains don't always recognise the difference between an imagined situation and a real one so the characters become 'alive' to us. What they say and do is therefore more meaningful. This is why the words and structures that relate a story's events, descriptions and conversations are processed in this deeper way.
In fact, cultures all around the world have always used storytelling to pass knowledge from one generation to another. Our ancestors understood very well that this was the best way to make sure our histories and information about how to relate to others and to our world was not only understood, but remembered too. Encouraging your child to read or listen to stories should therefore help them to learn a second language in a way that is not only fun, but memorable.
“As a child, I loved sitting on my grandfather's lap while he read me stories. I vividly remember most of them even though I am now a 32 years old teacher, too! As a child, I was blissfully unaware that, as I listened to the stories, I was also learning new words and ways in which those new words combined to communicate ideas and life lessons.”
Dr. Yoonse Tavoosy graduated from the University of Isfahan. He studied English Language and literature. He has been teaching the English Language for 11 years in different Language Centers in many cities of Iran. He also is an IELTS and TOEFL instructor, besides he currently serves as a director of Foreign Languages Department at Tehran Institute of Technology. He published several articles on teaching, literature, and social studies in Spain, the United States, France, Germany, England and etc. Furthermore, he is the author of three books: “A Road to Academic Writing”, and “A Handbook of IELTS Writing” in LAP LAMBART and LULU Publication in the U.SA, and “IELTS Writing (Task 1)” in Pothi in India, “A.B.C IELTS” in Jangal Publication in Iran, “Practical English Phrases and Idioms” in LAP LAMBERT.
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