1.en.06 Once upon a time… The art of storytelling

Stories are everywhere – in newspapers, books, on TV and the internet. Every day conversation is full of anecdotes and real life stories.

Storytelling is a unique human skill shared between people, and is one of our oldest artforms. It brings words and the world to life, stimulates the imagination, and builds a sense of community between tellers and listeners.

In fact, all of us are storytellers. We all love telling narratives about our experiences and the meanings that these experiences have for our lives.

And this has been so since the beginning of time. Look at the following infography

The History of Storytelling

 Yes, but how important are stories for you? Are you more of a storyteller or a storylistener? Listen to this talk by African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:https://www.youtube.com/embed/D9Ihs241zeg?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

a) What kind of stories did she write when she was a child? Why?

b) What made her change her view of what stories should talk about?

c) What shocked Chimamanda’s university roommate in the US?

d) What is the image westerners have of Africa, according to Chimamanda?

e) What is the tradicitional description of Africa in western books?

f) What does she mean when she says that stories are defined by the principle of nkali?

g) Why shouldn’t we only focus on negative experiences?

In this post we are going to practice creating narratives. In order to help you you can have a look at the document below:

Structure of narratives


In order to find out more about narratives click on the following link:

Sequencing a story

When reading or writing a story it’s important to understand the seguence of events. The sequence of events it’s the order of the events as they occur in the story.

The most common tools to organize the sequence of events are time expressions. Use the links below to learn about some useful time expressions to organize a sequence of events:



Now you can try this exercise:

Provide an appropriate sequencing word to fill in the blanks. My friend and I visited Rome last summer. (1) ________, we flew from New York to Rome in first class. It was fantastic! (2) _________ we arrived in Rome, we (3) ______ went to the hotel and took a long nap. (4) ________, we went out to find a great restaurant for dinner. (5) ________, a scooter appeared out of nowhere and almost hit me! The rest of the trip had no surprises. (6) __________, we began to explore Rome. (7) ________ the afternoons, we visited ruins and museums. At night, we hit the clubs and wandered the streets. One night, (8) ________ I was getting some ice cream, I saw an old friend from high school. Imagine that! (9) _________, we caught our flight back to New York. We were happy and ready to begin work again.


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