Storytelling for Diverse Voices

Watch a recording of the webinar 'Storytelling for diverse voices' with David Heathfield and Alla Göksu.

About the webinar

When we share a folk story from a minority culture, students with roots in that culture sense that they are included and their heritages are esteemed. Through storytelling students grow in resilience and self-esteem, find their own unique voices, feel encouraged to tell their own personal stories and develop as autonomous learners. 

This workshop, recorded on 24 January 2020, considered how teachers telling stories from their students’ heritage cultures can lead to students themselves sharing stories in and outside school, looked at the concept of learner autonomy and about storytelling as an appropriate tool to implement this concept through the example of a project Alla Göksu has initiated at IGS Kronsberg, a secondary school with a culturally diverse student population in Hannover, Germany. The webinar also involves learning about the impact storytelling can have on school students from diverse cultural and social backgrounds with different abilities and dispositions towards learning and finding out how storytelling can initiate a self-determined learning process among these students and develop their skills as autonomous learners.

Watch a recording of the webinar below

About the speakers

David Heathfield is a freelance storyteller, teacher and teacher trainer. He is the author of Storytelling With Our Students: Techniques for Telling Tales from Around the World and Spontaneous Speaking: Drama Activities for Confidence and Fluency, both published by DELTA Publishing. He is a member of The Creativity Group.

Alla Göksu enjoys teaching students from diverse cultural heritages and with different dispositions towards learning at a comprehensive school in Lower Saxony, Germany. She is a member of the school leadership team, an expert in learner autonomy and has been a speaker at IATEFL and Nordic Conferences.

Find out more about inclusive practices around the world in our free publication: Creating an inclusive school environment

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Submitted by Tabassum on Fri, 01/24/2020 - 18:21


I'm from Pakistan. This story is told by my grandmother when she was young in 1947. 

Her Rajpoot family was living in peace in India (Amritsar) in an Indian locality. It's located northwest of India (Punjab). It was the evening of 13 August 1947. A sikh neighbour was running in the street and shouting, "Muslims! You have only an hour to escape from this village. Don't blame me after that. Riots are about to come. You will find me with them."

Muslim families left their belongings and left the country. On the way, at night, they were passing by a field but there was a riot and started to kill the people. Kids hid themselves in the fields and reached Pakistan after facing many troubles in form of groups. 

My gran couldn't find her parents. She was living with a Muslim Family. She was a Hafiza (learnt Holy Quran by heart) and started to teach the Holy Quran there. Her family was also searching for her. Her mother was killed by the riots during migration.She was the only hope for her father. Her father visited the refugee camps for her in different cities for 5 years. One night, he planned to visit the villages near Lahore Border again. He traveled that night and reached there early morning. 

He offered namaz in a village mosque and prayed a lot for his daughter. He was passing by a house made of mud and straw. The walls of the house were not more than his height. He heard the loud recitation of Holy Quran. How it could be possible that he couldn't identify his daughters voice. He peeped over the wall. A young girl was sitting and reciting the Quran. He called her Sabira. When the girl heard her father's voice, She ran towards the door and found her father and family after 5 years.

Submitted by liliart on Sat, 01/25/2020 - 01:54


Good evening from Perú. Thanks for your lots of information and nice experiences related to storytelling. In my case, I enjoy reading stories in English. And I found great the idea that students share their own stories.



Submitted by Bleoobi77 on Fri, 01/31/2020 - 18:08


I'm afreaid I missed the webinar, but was luckt to see the video recording of the event. I can see the point of having a class of students from different backgrounds share their stories, to promote confidence and self esteem. As a teacher with a sub-culture (Ghanaian) plying my trade in the Netherlands, I believe I can use the concept here too. My classes are predominantly Dutch, with a few non-Dutch students here n there, but nevertheless I can use it to engage them. And the idea of the logbooks is great. Thank you for sharing.

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 02/04/2020 - 10:46

In reply to by Bleoobi77


Thanks for the feedback, and it's great that you found the ideas in the webinar useful for your teaching context. 

Submitted by dede on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 13:33


I am afraid I missed the webinar but I still want to give it a try and share the name of a story that my grandma used to tell me when I was little; 'the liar sheperd'. Long story short, the sheperd never tells the truth except one day his house catches fire and he asks for help but no ones believes him. 

Submitted by Ms. Deborah on Fri, 05/01/2020 - 18:57


There are many themes that children can share from telling their stories. Thank you for this webinar.


The feedback survey is only sent to people who register and attend the webinar live, I'm afraid. 



TE Team

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