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A Postmodernist Approach to Storytelling

A Postmodernist Approach to Storytelling

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  • Autor(i): Lungan Cristina
  • An aparitie: 2016
  • ISBN: 978-606-583-631-0
  • Pagini: 77



I have been interested in communication for many years and I have made it my first and foremost goal in teaching English. That is why I have been looking for the most efficient ways to accomplish my goal and I have come to the conclusion that storytelling provides real life situations in which a language can be taught effectively.                 

Therefore in this paper I will try to show that it is good for children to start listening to/reading English fairy tales since they are young as they get used to reading from an early age (and that does not happen very frequently with children nowadays). Moreover, stories give them opportunities to practise English for communication as many of them contain natural repetition of key vocabulary and structures. Children are exposed to language in varied, memorable and familiar contexts, which will enrich their thinking and gradually enter their own speech and consequently, at a certain point these words become clichés and stereotypes. Although the term cliché has negative connotations, paradoxically they are useful in teaching a foreign language.        

Last, but not least children even develop their imagination as they feel the need to create; thus new and modern combination of words come to their mind, and even if most of them use the same words that does not mean they are not creative. Their innovation is explained by their desire to update old fairy tales to the modern society they live in and in spite of its consuming aspect it also means novelty as compared to our grandparents’ world. Indeed children replaced the new clichés with new phrases borrowed from the consuming society and consequently, in time they have become clichés as well.

 The first part of my work highlights the number of old and new clichés and stereotypes used by the children in their modern versions of the traditional fairy tales. It also emphasizes the influence the consuming society has had on the children’s promotion of new sets of clichés. As I mentioned before I have been preoccupied with communication for a few years and that’s why I have decided to study it thoroughly. I admit, though, that I have not been very familiar with the changes Postmodernism has brought about in our everyday life as compared to the society our parents and grandparents lived in. Concepts such as consuming society, modern clichés and stereotypes, postmodernist students, etc. have been explained and clarified to me during my attending the Master classes. As a result I have come to the conclusion that I didn’t tackle the problem of teaching English as communication from all the perspectives and there were many things I overlooked.

In fact I start my paper explaining terms such as cliché, stereotype, idiom, institutional cliché in the way that I perceive both the words and the differences between them, as far as my own teaching situation is concerned. I have always been impressed with the way children are eager to recreate modern versions of well known fairy tales because they have three reasons to enjoy this activity: firstly, children are always fond of stories (it is in their nature); secondly, 21st century children are interested in television, computers, science fiction and everything that has to do with technology and thirdly they enjoy speaking English as long as they do it to communicate for fun, without having to worry about the mistakes they make or the marks they will have to get. Despite the fact that the word cliché has been used fairly freely lately I have come to the conclusion that in general clichés and stereotypes have both advantages and disadvantages as far as communication is concerned. Regarding their usage by our “cybernetic” children they represent meaningful and easily recognizable expressions of thinking, behaving patterns and values. Thus, children can differentiate themselves not only from each other, but also from their parents and grandparents. Even if this way of approaching things has its drawbacks, as well, we cannot deny its overall positive effect.                    

Children are the first who want to change or “break” stereotypes and clichés as they immediately sense something boring and overused. They only keep the old ones which help them be introduced in the universe of fairy tales and their childhood, as well.                                             

 In the Practice Part I have carried out a study in order to discover the children’s new clichés which can be explained by the influence the consuming society had and still has on children’s understanding of the surrounding world.                

In fact the last chapter of my paper is entitled Research Findings in Postmodernist English Storytelling and draws the last conclusions as far as this influence is concerned. It is this Postmodernist world and these Postmodernist children who force us, the grown-ups to become Postmodernist parents or teachers.




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