Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reading Aloud and Storytelling

When I got the invite to judge in the Inquirer Read Along Contest, I knew I had to break a personal belief and a promise. And once more, I was confronted with an issue many teachers and Filipino storytellers grapple with -- reading aloud and storytelling.

I will not discuss what it is and what it is not. Rather, I'll post links of videos on reading aloud and storytelling as well as videos of Mr. Jay Menes' read aloud session. Now here's a link to Just Stories an online place where storytellers gather just to tell stories. No fanfare. Stories are the stars of the show and the teller is the willing medium who keeps them alive.

My read aloud video of Lizard's Song, by George Shannon and illustrations by Jose Aruego and Arianne Dewey.

Story Knifing Sampler

Jay Menes reading aloud to preschoolers during Read Aloud Day 2011. He read aloud an Adarna book classic, When Color Comes to Town

Since storytelling is an art form and reading aloud is reeking of educative values, as well as literacy development merits, the two can be combined. The result is a hybrid technique known as book-based storytelling. Is this right? Is this wrong? Is there a proper way of delivery? There really are no answers to the questions. Art is subjective but an artist need to constantly practice his or her craft to grow and continuously develop. One needs to be a reflective artist too to see areas of improvement in choice of stories, in technique and purpose. Why tell stories? Why reading aloud? What stories to tell for Filipino children to enjoy and learn from? What cultural legacies can surface in the process of telling or reading aloud?

Sometimes, contests hamper this growth and development as it focus on the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd prize winners and not at stories shared and the audience who listened to the stories read or told.

I did enjoy my time at the Inquirer Read Along last month and I send them my congratulations for a meaningful and well thought out advocacy and CRS activity. But, I'm hoping to see and hear news of more storytelling and read aloud festivals instead of contests.

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