tip#14 - What advice can you give when using storytelling to help teach children new languages?

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The following tips are some basic ones that I employ with my preschool students. They would also work with your own children:

Be Creative

Utilize a creative use of language, sound, and/or body language.

Employ Various Voice Techniques

Maintain an appropriate volume for the children to hear, whether you are speaking loudly or not. Whisper when necessary as that kind of variance can not only help move a story along but may regain the interest of inattentive child. However any whisper used should be a ‘stage whisper’ so that the child is still able to hear. Play with intonation to enhance and clarify the meaning of the text. Make onomatopoeic sounds (e.g. cuckoo, meow, etc). Differentiate your natural voice from character voices.

Let Your Body Do the Talking

Expressive non-verbal communication often clarifies the meaning of the text. Making funny gestures, in-cluding vivid facial expressions, can help a child lock in new vocabulary. When you are telling a story mime and follow your words with actions (knock on the door, walk around the room, ‘’go to sleep’’, etc).

Characterization

Create a charismatic presence. Make characters believable by committing to the role. Stay focused, especially as you may have to switch between characters and narrator constantly.

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