Enjoying Stories with Young Learners
Anton Prochazka, Friday 14.30-15.30

As natural performers. children can lose themselves in stories in a way that adults can only envy. In the right environment and with little stimulation, they take off like rockets fuelled by their vivid imagination. Even from the very beginning of primary school, stories can be a source of inspiration and delight – for the children and the teachers. Through these ‘living’ experiences, we can pass on a ‘living’ language. The use of stories is also one of the best ways to involve children actively in language learning and in an enjoyable way. This powerful and motivating teaching tool engages the young learners emotionally, helps them to fix vocabulary and structures into long-term memory and can promote communication as well.

This workshop will provide some ideas and suggestions on how to use stories creatively in the classroom in an enjoyable way and through a variety of activities (from the areas of listening, comprehension, retelling, acting, miming to inventing stories - from simple picture stories to creative shadow stories and the ‘story sack’).
The practical examples and storytelling techniques used in this workshop can be adapted to different themes and classroom situations, not only for the teaching of English, but also for releasing the creative energies deep within the personality of every child.

Anton Prochazka taught English in primary and secondary schools for more than 20 years. In 1988 he set up a Centre for Information on foreign Language Teaching and In-service Training at the PIB-Wien. From 1989 on he became very much involved in the launching of English from grade 1 onwards and later on responsible for the training of kindergarten teachers as well. He also took part in various EU-projects and was awarded the European Label for Innovative Language Initiatives twice in 1998 and 2003. He still works at the Pädagogische Hochschule Wien and is now Director of Studies at the EdTWIN Language Centre of the European Office in the Vienna Board of Education. His most recent publication is the cross-curricular primary course “Supermouse”, published by Max Hueber, which makes use of stories, drama and songs.