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Language, literacy, literature: using storytelling in the languages classroom.

Abstract

Stories and storytelling have been used for millennia to entertain, challenge and educate. As a shared form of language interaction, storytelling has engaged communities in developing and perpetuating common understandings of both language and culture, as critical foundations to harmonious societies, Stories and storytelling provide a rich source of materials for languages classrooms, opening possibilities for gaining insights into cultures and language use, engaging learners with the literature and texts of the target language and culture and allowing learners to become both more engaged with the use of the target language and with expressing their own stories, using storytelling modes that are meaningful to them. This paper briefly explores the significance of storytelling to language learning and proposes a few ways to approach storytelling use in the languages classroom, using examples of stories of a young Indonesian poet, Fitri Nganthi Wani. The paper is intended to open wider discussion about the use of stories and storytelling in languages classrooms.

Key Words

stories, storytelling, language use, literature, target language literacy, Indonesian poetry, Fitri Nganthi Wani

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Introduction

To be a person is to have a story to tell

(Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Karen Blixen [1885-1962], author of Out of Africa)

A powerful means of exploring language is through the use of stories. For millennia, storytelling has been used to entertain, challenge, inform and educate. The benefits of using storytelling for learning, generally and for developing language use and literacy skills, specifically, have long been recognised and documented by educators, for both first and subsequent language learning contexts (Palmer, Harshbarger & Koch, 2001; Peck, 1989; Tsou, Wang & Tzeng, 2006).

Stories and storytelling can be used in languages classrooms in many ways and for many purposes, including improving language use, increasing literacy in the target language and culture and for introducing target language literature to learners. Stories can be introduced as texts to be listened to and read aloud, for familiarising learners with the sounds, rhythms, 'feel' and forms of language, or as models for learning contextualised language use or to engage learners with the ideas and issues addressed in the stories. Closer critical engagement with stories can include considering who the storytellers and the intended audiences are, why and how the stories are told, how they are experienced, interpreted and understood by listeners and how linguistic forms and structures support the purposes of the tellers and might be similar to or different from storytelling in the learners' first or other language(s). Stories provide a rich source of cultural information, about the storyteller and the context of the story; and also provide platforms to consider how language and culture are always intertwined, with the choices of language and language forms dependent on cultural considerations and to illustrate how cultural situations are described through language and language structures.

Further considerations in relation to using storytelling in the languages classroom may extend to a range of orientations to approaching the forms and modes of storytelling: comparing 'traditional' and 'modern' or contemporary forms and modes of storytelling and stories, using recognised literature as well as alternative texts and writing forms (diaries, blogs, wikis, email, SMS texting, posters, slogans, graffiti, etc) and investigating stories told in non-text forms (in performance, artworks, songs, YouTube clips and photographs, for example). Depending on the particular teaching contexts and needs and the capabilities and readiness of learners, exposure to multiple stories and story forms from a particular culture can be used to invite learners to consider and engage with their own preferred (or disliked) ways of receiving, telling and creating stories and in engaging critically and reflexively with their own choices, as interculturally, personally aware learners.

The multiple and overlapping purposes for story use in languages classes can also, as a consequence, provide ways into a range of learning and assessment approaches. Languages teachers can consider storytelling across learning 'strands', as understood in curricula and syllabus structures, such as the Australian curriculum strands presented in the draft shape paper of communicating, understanding and reciprocating (ACARA, 2011), allowing teachers to plan work across these strands and to develop longer term programs and assessment of interconnected tasks, based on the story or stories.

This paper briefly considers the significance of storytelling to languages learning and proposes a few ways of approaching story and storytelling use in languages classrooms, using the example of one Indonesian storyteller, a young Javanese poet, Fitri Nganthi Wani (known as Wani) as well as briefly considering historical perspectives of storytelling in Indonesia and how these impact on current storytelling practices for contemporary audiences. Wani's work provides insights into how storytellers and stories might engage young learners with Indonesian language and culture in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them. The paper is intended to invite further discussion about how storytelling can be used more widely in languages classrooms, in considering the value of working with authentic, rich texts for developing deeper, meaningful learning and interest in the literature, languages, cultures and storytellers of a target language.

Telling stories

Why do we tell stories?

A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens--second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives...

Reynolds Price (1978). A Palpable God, New York: Atheneum, p.3.

Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world's religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation.

Bill Mooney and David Holt (1996). The Storyteller's Guide. Little Rock, Arkansas: August House, p. 7

For millennia, stories and storytelling have been used to transmit cultural understandings from one generation to the next, to educate, to entertain, to promote a sense of community and to disseminate moral codes and lessons. Storytelling is used to generate and share common understandings, to perpetuate histories, to relate experiences and to teach language (Bruner, 2002; Hsu, 2008; Tsou et al., 2006). The body of anthropological and ethnographic study supports the view that cultures and people everywhere in the world, throughout recorded human history, have used storytelling as a powerful mode of cultural and linguistic transmission (Tsou et al., 2006).

How do we tell stories?

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.

Robert McKee (American creative writing instructor)

People of all cultures tell stories that are unique to their culture and use their shared language in ways that are meaningful to other users of their language or located in their cultural context (Tsou et al., 2006). In this way, storytelling provides and disseminates a shared body of linguistic and cultural knowledge and understanding. This is not to say that the kinds of stories that are told in one culture have no connection with stories and storytelling in other cultures. Indeed, common themes and approaches to narrative (storytelling's principle genre) exist across and between many cultural groups, historical periods and locations. Common themes, similar characters and identical messages are frequently found, perhaps with more points of similarity than difference, indicating similar needs for and purposes of storytelling and stories across human societies.

The 'mode' of transmission of stories, while including visual and performance forms, has essentially been through the use of language, in written, spoken and 'performed' forms. This range of modes is increasing, however, as technological possibilities increase. Ways of telling stories include oral modes, to listeners either in the same space or time as the storyteller, or located in another place or time, the listening made possible by digital transmission forms or recordings and ever-wider access to stores of recordings.

Oral storytelling has historically played a significant role in communities with limited literacy (understood as reading and writing) and remains an important mode of communication today, within families, at school, amongst friends, in community groups and in almost every other site for communication (Palmer et al, 2001). Oral modes might involve a single speaker, or storyteller, or a larger cast of actors, each playing a role in the delivery of the story.

Oral modes can be enhanced by the addition of gestures and gesture can, on its own, be considered an important and vivid form of storytelling and of great value in supporting language learning (Orton, 2007). In addition to oral forms of storytelling, written forms are also myriad, recorded on cave walls, on paper, in books and in electronic forms in a wide range of text types and genres. Stories are also told through other artistic forms, such as the visual arts of painting and sculpture.

However stories are told, there is a requirement for a relationship between teller and listener, writer and reader, actor and audience. That is, storytelling is an interactive process (Palmer et al., 2001). A further requirement is also necessary: the engagement of imagination by the listener, sometimes to suspend disbelief to travel to the world of the story and its events and always to be able to 'picture' the events, characters and action and to interpret them, building on their own stores of knowledge (Palmer et al., 2001).

For interaction to occur and the imagination to be stimulated, there is another, self-evident requirement: the use of language. Language is the medium of the story, the way in which it is passed on from storyteller to story receiver. The power of language to engage and communicate is perhaps most effectively demonstrated in storytelling, where language opens the imagination of the listeners so they are engaged with the story's ideas and affected by its outcomes (Isbell, Sobol, Lindauer & Lowrance, 2004). The nature of the interactive basis of storytelling is something to be kept in mind by teachers of languages, as the benefits of interactive learning and learning that captures or requires the imaginative engagement of learners are well-documented (Palmer et al., 2001; Tsou et al., 2006).

What do stories mean to learners?

One of the surest signs of a belief in the educational power of the story is its introduction into the curriculum of ... schools. It is just at the time when the imagination is most keen, the mind being unhampered by accumulation of facts that stories appeal most vividly and are retained for all time.

Marie L Sheldon (1915)

Stories are interpreted by each individual through her or his own 'lenses' of experience, building on previous knowledge, experience and understanding, (Lantolf, 2000; Palmer et al., 2001; Vygotsky, 1978). What learners in a classroom bring to their interpretation of stories will differ for every student, affected, minimally, by the following:

* age and gender

* cultural and language background(s)

* locational context: rural/urban, what climate zone they live in, population density, etc.

* spiritual and religious beliefs and teachings

* the social value placed on storytelling

* previous and current education and learning style(s) the learner has been exposed to/prefers to learn through

* current levels of general literacy and oracy skills

* overall proficiency levels in the languages they use and the language of the text

* the influence of family, peers and teachers

* access to media

* texts with which they have engaged throughout their lives and the ways in which they have engaged with texts (whether they have been read to, they have read them themselves, how they have been introduced and 'taught' them at school, in the community, or at home)

* familiarity with the story, the story's genre and stories similar to the one with which they are currently engaging.

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The pedagogical choices teachers will need to make will, therefore, vary from group to group and context to context. While teachers of languages need to be aware of the variability of interpretation and diverse interest and perspectives of their learners, it is also important to bear in mind that as each learner will make her or his own meaning from stories, it is not imperative that everyone interprets the meaning of the story in the same way (Palmer et al., 2001). That is, variable interpretation is part of the pleasure of storytelling, listening ,and interpretation and a reminder of the diversity of learners and learning contexts and the joy of difference.

Storytelling in the classroom

Storytelling is a rich interactive process that facilitates imagination, creative thinking, language abilities and cooperative learning... Storytelling offers a limitless opportunity for developing a more authentic awareness of and respect for children with diverse language and cultural backgrounds

(Palmer et al., 2001, p. 199)

In classrooms, formal and informal, storytelling has long been used as a practical and enjoyable way to engage students and to enhance learning (Peck, 1989; Tsou et al., 2006). Pesola (1991) argued that storytelling is 'one of the most powerful tools for surrounding the young learner with language' (Pesola, 1991, p. 340). Peck (1989) has argued that storytelling promotes the four language macroskills, enhancing reading, writing, speaking (oracy) and listening in learners, in addition to engaging learners in critical analysis of stories and enhancing their creative use of language. Isbell et al. (2004) showed that story comprehension and the ability to retell stories (oracy skills) are enhanced by hearing stories, while reading stories improves facility with language complexity and critical engagement with texts.

Palmer et al. (2001) detail a wide literature on the benefits of storytelling for developing language and literacy, including storytelling's power to hold learners' attention, its use to increase listening and reading comprehension, its capacity to enhance language fluency and increased vocabulary, for providing general knowledge about the world and for generating greater intercultural awareness of learners as they encounter stories from other languages and cultures. Isbell (2002) explains how many stories work well for learning language because they contain repetitive phrases, unique words and imaginative descriptions. Others, such as Hoggan and Strong (1994), suggest a range of narrative teaching strategies to be used with storytelling and document their benefits for language learning. These strategies include directed reading and thinking activities, developing a discussion web, dramatisation of the story, episode or story mapping, developing story flow charts, putting stories to music or developing art or multi-media representations, using questioning to illicit understanding, semantic word mapping, story generation, story-grammar cueing (modelling grammar points), story retelling, summarising, thinking aloud activities and word or phrase substitutions.

Tsou et al. (2006) take the discussion of the benefits of storytelling into the digital age, describing outcomes of using multimedia storytelling websites for foreign language learning, aimed at overcoming obstacles to using storytelling in second language classrooms such as teachers' fears concerning ways to integrate storytelling into their teaching, locating appropriate stories and understanding the cultural and language contexts sufficiently to explain these to students. They describe the development of websites that allow for composing, replaying and sharing stories in the target language.

These websites include advice to teachers about how to integrate use of the storytelling website into their language classrooms, including the addition of storytelling score sheets for marking stories against a range of criteria, related to, for example, story elements including setting, characterisation, theme, plot, resolution and sequence. These kinds of multimedia sites allow students to include visual and text elements in their stories and to develop animation and other multimedia elements to add action to their stories.

Photo stories, using online technologies, provide another way of using online tools for story development, as do the use of mobile phones, iPads and email. Studies to assess the benefits of using mobile phones as language learning tools have also focused on storytelling tasks. In one study by Kiernan and Aizawa (2004), mobile phone email was compared with regular email and oral conversation for telling stories using pictures and captions.

Mobile phone storytelling, using genre-appropriate abbreviated messages was found to be both a productive and enjoyable way for learners to convey stories to each other (Kiernan & Aizawa, 2004). What these studies tell us is that learners are increasingly engaged with multimedia and especially social media, as storytelling modes, and language teachers need to capitalise on this interest.

Storytelling in Indonesia

Indonesia has a long, rich and diverse heritage of storytelling. The construct of 'Indonesia' as a nation is recent, being a little over 65 years old, thus, its storytelling history combines the traditions and histories of a large number of both distinct and intermixed cultural and ethnic groups predating the Indonesian state (Goebel, 2010). Indigenous place based cultural groups (Goebel, 2010), so named because of their regional locations, include the Javanese, Sundanese, Bantenese, Betawi, Tengger, Osing and Badui from Java; the Madurese from Madura; Malays, Batak, Minangkabau, Acehnese, Lampung and Kubu groups from Sumatra; the Dayak and Banjar from Kalimantan; Makassarese, Buginese, Mandar, Minhasa, Gorontalonese, Toraja and Bajau from Sulawesi; the Balinese and Sasak from the Sunda Islands; Nuaulu, Manusela and Wemale from the Moluccas; and Dani, Bauzi and Asmat from Papua. Additionally, waves of traders, religious ascetics and migrants from India, China and the Middle East have brought cultural influences and stories to the Indonesian archipelago over a period of more than 2000 years, as well as more recent communities of immigrants from Japan and Korea, who in turn have added their cultural and linguistic influences to this eclectic mix. From the 16th century, European colonists and traders had a significant presence in the region and, in turn, influenced Indonesia's history and thus its history of storytelling.

With the creation of the nation of Indonesia in 1945, as a way of unifying the peoples of the region into a single nation state free from colonial control, a further cultural and linguistic 'layer' was added, using the motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, most commonly translated as 'unity in diversity', to support the new nation state's aim of 'one nation, one people, one language'. The motto comes from a 14th century Old Javanese epic poem Sutasoma, attributed to the writer/ sage Empu Tantular and is an expression of reconciliation and tolerance between Hindu and Buddhist faiths (Santoso, 1975). While the aim in this paper is not to explore this complex and fascinating layered history of cultural influences and storytelling in Indonesia, it is important to bear this complexity in mind when considering contemporary storytelling in Indonesia and its frequent back-referencing and crosscultural cross-linguistic influences. It is also important to note the use of stories, such as this one concerning the adoption of the state motto, in the construction of national symbols and identity/ies.

Though Indonesia is frequently considered as supporting principally oral histories of storytelling (which continue), there is also a significant written history of stories and a variety of written Indonesian story genres (Yudiono, 2007). Written and oral genres include epic poetry, a variety of poetry forms, dramas, folk tales, puppet and mask plays, novels, short stories, drawings and paintings, court records (of various kingdoms and periods of royal reign) and the more recent forms of e-storytelling including television, film, music clips, blogs and so on. As such, there is a vast and rich repository of stories available to languages teachers to use in their classrooms.

'Traditional' stories exist from the cultural/ ethnic/linguistic groups and permeate contemporary forms. Many of these stories are well-known (and are perhaps over-represented) as iconic expressions of Indonesianness, such as the stories used in the wayang performance forms. These come from preIndian influences, but also significantly use the stories of the great Indian Hindu epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Stories from wayang performance forms have also transferred into 'modern' storytelling genres, including comic book wayang, television wayang (acted drama and animations) and wayang cartoons (Morgan, 1994). Wayang story references abound in contemporary political and social commentary.

When discussing the traditional/modern dichotomy (what is traditional, what is modern and where is the line drawn?), I am reminded of a theatre director who once said that

traditional performance is what people everywhere do every day. It is not something that belongs in the past, but is the rived experience of what people do now (Peter Sellars)

This point is fitting for what happens with Indonesian stories, as they traverse generations and story modes (Morgan, 1994). It is an idea that provides an ideal opportunity to problematise terms such as 'traditional' and 'modern' and to discuss learners' understandings of what these terms mean to them in relation to their own stories and histories of stories and storytelling and how 'old' ideas are reimagined in new contexts and using new media or modes of story transmission. My experience of such discussions is that learners have very interesting views and are keen to discuss these kinds of topics.

Contemporary forms of Indonesian storytelling, as in many nations, embrace the full range of popular and social media. Youth audiences are especially 'tuned in' to newer forms of social media (Carrington, 2010). In 2010, more than 200 million 5-19 year-olds, worldwide, had internet access, mostly through the latest generation mobile phones and studies of youth communication indicated that most occurred outside formal education and was peer-based (Carrington, 2010). In early 2011, Indonesia had the world's second largest Facebook user group, the world's third largest Twitter audience and 87% of Indonesia's online population was using social media, many on a daily basis (WARC, 2011). The smartphone market is beginning to boom in Indonesia, which will continue to expand this mode of shared communication and storytelling (WARC, 2011).

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There are positive implications of this trend towards increasing social media use for teachers wishing to engage young learners in language learning through contemporary storytelling modes. A willingness to engage with the out-of-school social media storytelling forms and to bring them into the classroom, could interest learners and improve language learning opportunities and outcomes.

Youth poetry: Fitri Nganthi Wani

Wani is a young Indonesian poet who provides an example of how language teachers might use storytelling, including social media connections, to explore language learning opportunities.

Born in Solo, Java, in 1989 and currently a university student in Yogyakarta, Wani is one of the new generation of poets with wide appeal to youth audiences (Curtis, 2007). Her volume of poetry Selepas bapakku hilang (After my father disappeared) (Wani, 2009), which graphically illustrates the dominant story of her life, achieved notoriety with a large youth audience. Like many Indonesian poets, Wani often performs live, with other young pop star performers.

Her poetry tells of her life and also of her aspirations. She was deeply traumatised as a young girl after her father, a poet and an antigovernment activist disappeared, presumably at the hands of the government or police, following a prolonged period of intimidation, house ransacking and abuse by local authorities (Curtis, 2007). Wani began writing poetry as a response to this trauma, to express her story in a way that was meaningful to her. The themes she addresses in her work include social injustice, poverty, prejudice, violence and her personal feelings as an Indonesian youth. The volume of poetry is also a record of a school aged girl's thoughts and experiences of growing up in contemporary, urban Indonesia. As such, it is both culturally and historically interesting and will likely resonate with similar aged readers, making it ideal for Australian school contexts.

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Wani's poetry and suggested classroom use

The two poems by Wani on page 27 are intended for use with students at around Year 10 level, who have had two or three years of Indonesian language learning (Morgan, Harbon & Kohler, 2010). The first is a serious poem about her plea for her nation to notice the poverty and injustice that exists and to care for its people. Written on Independence Day, it indicates her thoughts on that day as the nation celebrates its independence, but at the same time ignores those in need. It is a call to action. The second poem is more playful, a repetitive poem about her every day morning routine and forgetting that on Sunday she need not follow this routine.

The two poems tell two different stories, but both allow the reader or listener insight into the life of a young Javanese woman. Though the second may appear daunting, with so many stanzas, it soon becomes evident that that each verse is a repetition of the previous one, until the final verse, which begins the same, but changes to reflect the error she has made.

In what follows, I suggest some possible ways that these poems, as 'stories', could be used following the three strands of the draft shape paper for languages currently under development in the Australian curriculum (ACARA, 2011). You will note that some suggestions appear in more than one strand, to indicate overlap of objectives.

Communicating

* reading them aloud, or asking learners to read them aloud, to the class, as they are intended for oral as well as written engagement

* compare Wani's morning routine with that of the learners, or the teacher; write, read aloud and/or perform their own versions of the morning routine. Can they do this poetically, as a rap, etc.? Learners may wish to do this as a storyboard, or PowerPoint presentation or using some other means

* write a letter to Australia (in English and/ or Indonesian, depending on learner capabilities), in the same style as Wani's letter to Indonesia, read them aloud and publish them as an illustrated class set or upload them onto the school intranet for other students to read, or send to a 'sister class' in Indonesia, with an explanation of these being a response to Wani's poem

* select another poem in the volume (or of another Indonesian poet) that is appealing, use the English translation to help understand and interpret it, then read this to the class, explaining what it is about and why it was chosen (what story does it tell?). Invite the listeners to respond to the poems chosen and to the reading of them

* investigate blogs about Wani (see http:// ladangkata.com/2009/06/17/inspirasiperih-fitri-nganthi-wani/, for example) and ask learners to write a blog response themselves, to this site, or to other sites

* invite learners to develop a 'story' about their lives, in Indonesian, in the form of their own choosing and share it with the class.

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Understanding

* locate, discuss and work with unfamiliar words, phrases and grammar

* summarise the events/meaning of the poems and ask learners for initial personal responses to the ideas in the poems and how they feel about them

* consider the titles and the meaning for the author and for learners

* consider Wani's choice of language: some is very colloquial, some more formal, there is use of poetic devices and abbreviations. Why might she make these choices (e.g. for impact, to indicate a desired register, for rhythm and rhyme purposes, for aesthetic purposes)? Compare these with some examples in English where similar poetic devices are used

* invite learners to consider who the audience is for each poem and why Wani might have chosen to write to these audiences

* invite learners to consider what Wani thinks of her nation: positives and negatives, aspirations for the future (and then to consider how they think of their own nation and what they would say in a letter to Australia or another country, if learners were born elsewhere)

* invite learners, after working with the poems, to describe (in Indonesian and English), their feelings about them, including the kinds of language forms used, what they are about and how it has been said. Encourage use of metalanguage, perhaps in Indonesian, to do this

* consider translation of the poems: why might literal translation not always be appropriate in poetry? How do the learners feel about translation choices made in relation to these poems?

Reciprocating

* invite learners to consider, generally and with specific references to her poems, how they are affected by Wani's writing

* invite learners to consider what Wani thinks of her nation: positives and negatives, aspirations for the future and then to consider how they think of their own nation and what they would say in a letter to Australia or another country, if learners were born elsewhere. Take this further by asking learners to consider whether the conditions Wani describes in her letter exist anywhere in Australia and what they might be able to do, as young people like Wani, to attempt to address this situation

* write an explanation about what was included in the letter to Australia (see task in Communicating strand) and compare the issues raised with those in Wani's letter to Indonesia, suggesting reasons for any different emphases

* consider the way Wani chastises herself for her stupidity: is this something that the learners do about themselves, or others? Are there cultural differences in how we refer to ourselves and what we are prepared to criticise? How might such self-chastisement occur in the learners' own worlds? Reflect on why differences like these might occur between cultures and if the learners are affected by seeing how Wani talks about herself

* discuss the political ramifications of Wani engaging in writing poetry like this, given that her father was persecuted for expressing views that criticised the government. Invite learners to consider whether they would speak out against the government if what happened to Wani and her family happened to them. Consider also what kinds of conditions are needed for free speech, the risks people take in order to express strong feelings and how the learners feel about such risks and their own desires to act against what they see as wrong

* invite learners to consider what a set of stories about their lives (like this set of stories by Wani) would include: what issues need to be discussed, what has happened to them that needs to be told, what do they want to talk about? Consider how they would want to express their ideas, what storytelling forms would they use? Are they inspired to create a set of stories about their own lives, after reading about Wani's? What language(s) would they choose to write/create in and why? Could they tell very personal stories in Indonesian? What would be limiting factors of any language choice, for them, personally? Consider this last response in relation to Wani's choice of Indonesian, which is not her 'first' language, but is her nation's language. Ask learners to write a reflection on the task of developing a 'story' about their lives in Indonesian (see task in Communicating strand, above), in relation to these considerations

These ideas are intended as suggestions and discussion starters. Teachers working in their own contexts will undoubtedly think of other tasks and processes to pursue with their classes, responding to their own needs, in relation to these or other relevant story texts they use in their classrooms.

Conclusion

Storytelling and using stories in classrooms provide countless opportunities to explore the language, culture and lives of people from the target language and culture, to improve language use, communication, understanding and literacy and oracy skills. Personal stories provide direct insights into the lives of others and form a basis for learners' responses at a similarly personal level. My aim in this paper has been to open up an invitation to discuss and share examples of how storytelling might be used in languages classrooms to engage learners and increase both participation and learning of languages. Use of new forms of storytelling, as well as established texts and literature, which appeal to young people, should also be explored and shared with others, as these are the means more and more commonly used in communication and give us new ways of sharing understanding, values and pleasure, the very purposes of storytelling.
Surat buat Indonesia

   Kepada:
   Indonesiaku

   Kamulah tempat lahirku
   Kamulah tumpah darahku
   Wahai pertiwiku

   Inginku mohon padamu
   Perhatikan nasib rakyatmu
   Mereka tak bias nikmati hari bahagiamu
   Mereka masih menderita
   Mereka hanya memikirkan makan untuk keluarga

   Sampai di sini dulu permohonanku
   Wahai Indonesiaku

   17 Agustus 1999

Letter to Indonesia

   To:
   My Indonesia

   You are my place of birth
   You are the place my blood flows
   Oh, my mother land

   I beseech you
   Notice your people's fate
   That cannot enjoy your day of jubilation
   They continue to suffer
   That think only of food for the family

   Here for now ends my petition
   Oh, my Indonesia

   17 August 1999

Berangkat sekolah

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Mengejar waktu cepat berlari
   Sebelum lonceng mulai berbunyi

   Bangun kesiangan lagi
   Bergegas mandi
   Tanpa sempat sarapan lagi
   Berseragam rapi
   Aaarrghh ...! Ugh! Betapa bodohnya aku
   Ini kan hari Minggu?!?!

   Bangun kesiangan lagi

   22 Februari 2005

Off to school

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in uniform
   Chasing time quickly run
   Before the bell starts ringing

   Wake up late
   Shower in a hurry
   No chance for breakfast
   Neatly dress in
   Aaarrghh ...! Ugh! How stupid I am
   It's Sunday, isn't it?!?!

   Wake up late again

   22 February 2005


References

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Anne-Marie Morgan is a Research Fellow in the School of Education at the University of South Australia. She has worked on numerous national languages and literacy education projects and has many years experience teaching Indonesian, drama, music, English, ESL and Asian Studies. Her research and publication interests are in the areas of Indonesian teaching and learning, languages pedagogy, language and literacy, intercultural language teaching and learning, ESL, intercultural performance and studies of Asia. She has particular interests in teachers' work and primary languages programs. She is currently on the executive of the AFMLTA and Vice-President of MLTASA.

Anne-Marie.Morgan@unisa.edu.au
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