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Story-based instruction: Learning language through narrative

Writer(s): 
Akie Kanazono

In 2008, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (MEXT) revised the Basic Act on Education. Part of the revision requires introducing foreign language education activities to 5th and 6th grade students in elementary school from 2011. Since the revision, pedagogical issues such as curriculum building, instructional materials, and teaching practices of English language have become a large concern for educators. This paper presents a story-based teaching method for young learners and explores the potential impact of narrative on language learning. The paper also describes how narrative can bolster language learning through engaging young learners cognitively and emotionally. In the first part of the paper, an overview of English education in elementary school is discussed, then the influence of narrative form on cognitive and affective aspects of language learning, drawing on Bruner’s narrative theory, is examined. The strengths of a semantic approach to language learning are also discussed. Finally, the paper discusses the criteria for the selection of matched-stories for language instruction, scaffolding theory, and a sample story-based unit the writer conducted in a public elementary school.
2008年に文部科学省(MEXT)は教育法規則を一部改正し、2011年度から小学校第5学年及び第6学年に外国語活動を実施する事を義務づけた。改正以後、カリキュラム編成、指導教材、教授法等の外国語教育に関する問題が教育関係者等の大きな関心事となった。本論文はスト-リ-ベ-スの指導メソッドを紹介し、物語が学習者の思考と感情に与える影響を検証し、それが言語習得に与える可能性について考察する。まず小学校英語教育の概観について述べた後、ブル-ナ-のナレティヴ理論を応用し、ナレティヴフォ-ムが学習者に与える影響を思考及び感情の両面から考察する。また内容を重視したアプロ-チの特長についても議論される。最後にスト-リ-ベ-ス教授法について①物語の選定基準、②スキャフォルディング理論、そして③筆者が小学校で実施したスト-リ-ベ-ス単元のサンプルユニットを紹介する。

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