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Storytelling – Tales from the Past – Stories for the Past

Storytelling - Tales from the Past

The project

The idea of using the method of storytelling to teach foreign language was developed at a Grundtvig contact-seminar in Udine, Italy. The motivation for this project is based upon the belief that communication between people of differing cultures can be successful only where the precondition of an understanding of ones own culture has been met. Sources of many of the problems faced by today’s societies and the individuals living in them can be attributed to a deficit of this type of knowledge.

The partnership aimed to improve the language skills of learners through the art of storytelling. Additionally learners gained knowledge of their own countries culture and heritage and those of the partner countries (Wales, Belgium, Spain, Italy und Lithuania). This has been achieved through the researching and telling of stories which have been presented in a variety of ways ranging from traditional oral telling through to theatrical plays and films. Furthermore participants’ confidence in their language abilities increased as well as presentation and communication skills.

2 exciting and interesting years are now lying behind Helena Struemann, Head of Foreign Language School and her learners, who invested their energy alongside to their studies to become “European Secretary”. During the 6 project meetings in Alcaniz, Heilbronn, Sarzana, Vilnius and Cardiff relevant workshops have been arranged: such as presentation techniques, vocal training for radio and digital stories, drama, music therapy etc.. Furthermore presentations of stories from all partners have been given and a range of appropriate social events have been organised to enhance the cultural experience of the participants. These have included live performances and visits to places of cultural significance. Between each mobility work has progressed with the refinement of the individual stories and product production - all partners have contributed to an audio CD and to a set of cards detailing the work of each partner that can be utilised by others.

The learners in Germany focussed on telling the tale of Parzival and adapting it as a visual presentation in 4 languages (German, English, French and Spanish), receiving professional training in voice and articulation.


Storytelling - Tales from the Past 2

The projects culmination and end took place at the last meeting in Wales in July 2008, where all of the stories were presented. Furthermore Helena Struemann, Head of Foreign Language School Heilbronn invited to a final presentation of the project and project results. Teachers and administrative staff of Kolping Training Institution participated as well as a representative of the regional council of Baden-Wuerttemberg (responsible for pedagogical further education of teachers). Project results of Kolping are suggestions how to integrate free speech and storytelling in foreign language education: an audio CD with a radio play, a DVD with exercises in free speech and storytelling and a bilingual (German-English) Workcard-Set, explaining the method of storytelling. As a result the regional council of Baden-Wuerttemberg is interested in the method of storytelling and is planning to use aspects of the method for the further education programme of teachers.

Please have a look at the project website.

EU Lifelong Learning Programme


Project partners
Cardiff Council, Wales, Great Britain (Coordinator)
Centrum voor Volwassenenonderwijs, Heverlee, Belgium
Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Alcaniz, Spain
Labaratorio di Arte Contemporanea della Bassa Lunigiana, Sarzana, Italy
Public Service Language Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
Kolping  Training Institution Wuerttemberg Registerd Association, Kolping Training Centre Heilbronn, Foreign Language school, Germany

Contact person
Helena Struemann, Head of Foreign Language School, Heilbronn

EU-Funding Programme
Grundtvig – Learning Partnerships

Sum of Funding
First year:      4,558 €
Second year: 8,500 €

Period of Funding
First year:      01.08.2006 – 31.07.2007
Second year: 01.10.2007 – 31.07.2008

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commision cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.