By Citizen Journalist Lalit Kishore
The World Storytelling Institute (WSI) in Chennai is going to organize a seven day staggered storytelling workshop at Kilpauk Garden in the city for assorted group of adult participants such as teachers, therapists, human resource trainers, social workers, doctors, behavioural trainers, performers, creative writers, tour guides, home-schooling parents, and professional storytellers to learn, sharpen and enhance their skills so as get benefits out of the technique for value inculcation, teaching, healing and entertaining, informed the institute director Dr. Eric Miller.
The workshop would begin on March 3 and would occur on 7 consecutive Tuesdays up to April 14. A training module has been developed that incorporates Indian folklore apart from autobiographical and original stories collected from previous such workshops with emphasis on skills and techniques of narrating stories to enliven interaction.
Such workshops are being held by WSI for the last several years in which hundreds of people have been trained under the guidance of workshop director Miller, a Ph. D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, who has relocated himself in Chennai from UK. According to him, with storytelling training, the participants will be able to relate to their clients at their workplace and enhance interactivity.
In India, the NCERT had been advocating the use of storytelling method for language teaching and classroom instruction in environmental studies (EVS) at elementary school level. Many lessons in EVS textbooks have been written in the story format but due to lack of training of teacher educators and classroom instructors, storytelling method of teaching has not taken roots in Indian schools.
“There is a dire need to train teachers in storytelling as an expressive art form and make it a pedagogical tool at the elementary school level and such workshops are helpful as they make participants learn how to combine words and actions to reveal the elements and images by evoking listeners’ imagination,” said the Jaipur-based retired language teacher Prabha Kishore.
According to me, during classroom instruction, storytelling should use of some specific actions such as vocalization, physical movement and gesticulation which every teacher use after some training in a workshop mode. A special module for elementary school teachers needs to be developed by the NCERT or other teacher support institutions for making this expressive a pedagogical tool.
Dr.Lalit Kishore can be reached at