Voice is central in EFL storytelling.


                          Voice is a central in all face-to-face teaching

                          Voice awareness comes into few initial teacher training programmes.

                          Odd, very odd.......the EFL tradition we take for granted, yes, it is decidedly odd.

If you have a story that you reckon has a strong visual content try and tell it this way:

Go to the back of the class so you are behind the students.

Ask them to close their eyes and allow mental pictures to  come. Then stand very straight with your shoulders back. Breathe from the top part of your chest and tell the story in a fairly high pitch and without much variation of tempo or volume. Speak fairly fast.

After the telling ask the students to decribe the pictures they made in their heads in groups of three or four.

 The type of voice use I decribe above is often conducive to helping people produce mental pictures, as it is a fairly auditorily boring voice and does not invite the listeners too much into their feelings. The point of asking people to shut their eyes is to exclude external visual stimulation and to help  student concentrate on the text. The point of standing behind the students is that a voice coming from behind will often feel more intimate to the listener and require them to feel a degree of trust in the person of the story-teller. [ Atavistically it is dangerous to have your eyes shut and a person behind you]

 If you haven't told stories like this before....give it a whirl!

Warmly yours,  Mario

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