82725 - English Language Workshop IV - (A)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to equip students with practical and theoretical knowledge of the key methods and concepts linked to the use of storytelling in the primary classroom. Specific learning outcomes include: knowledge of a wide range of texts designed for native speakers (from picture books to traditional tales) suitable for the ESL primary classroom; - knowledge of the most effective narrative techniques for the ESL classroom; - ability to analyse the structures and main characteristics of oral texts, and to confidently select the most suitable texts for use in the primary classroom; - ability to produce original narrative material based on texts analysed during the course; - ability to autonomously design effective storytelling activities for the ESL classroom and produce relevant material; ability to design pre and post-storytelling activities with the aim to help children consolidate newly acquired vocabulary and structures; awareness of the problems that might arise during a storytelling activity and confidence in handling them creatively; - knowledge of classroom language and literary language employed in the texts analysed during the course; ability to design a number of recreational activities with a view to evaluating the outcomes of the use of storytelling in the ESL classroom.

Course contents

The fourth year workshops are organised according to three personalised paths, (1) one mostly linguistic, albeit based on teaching material for young learners (see Mr Andrew Terry Morris‘s website for this), (2) one mostly methodological (see here) and focussing on storytelling in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom, and (3) a mixed path, with both language and methodology (see Masoni and Morris). Students will be assigned to the different groups on the basis of their II and III year results.

The workshops for paths (2) and (3) will focus on the following topics and contents:

  • EFL Storytelling methods and activities;
  • Choosing picture books for the EFL primary classroom;
  • Oral performances of picture books;
  • How to design pre and post storytelling activities;
  • Picturebooks as sources of language for pupils and teachers;
  • The role of oral narrative in foreign language learning and teaching;
  • Language as culture in traditional folk narrative and children's literature;
  • Classroom language and story-based classroom activities.

    On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Handle a wide range of authentic literary texts (from picturebooks to traditional folktales) deemed suitable for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
  • Identify the most effective narrative techniques for young learners.
  • Select books and texts for the EFL classroom, analyse their structures and linguistic features.
  • Develop original texts and plan activities connected with them.
  • Plan storytelling performances in the classroom in every detail and produce all necessary materials.
  • Independently design a wide range of pre- and post-narrative activities, in order to help children consolidate their skills.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main methods and approaches in applied linguistics (most closely related to the use of storytelling in the classroom).

Students will receive regular feedforward from their tutor, in terms of writing and developing classroom activities.


Indicative reading.

Core texts:

Slattery, M. and Willis J. (2001), English for Primary Teachers, Oxford: Oxford University Press (questo testo sarà utilizzato anche per i laboratori del V anno e, in parte, per l’insegnamento opzionale di Didattica della Lingua Inglese).

Ellis, G. and Brewster J. Tell it Again! The Storytelling Handbook for Primary English Language Teachers, British Council (free online PDF).

Articles and classroom notes will be handed out during the course and will be available on IOL.

The tutor will also provide original texts for classroom group-work.

Classroom work will also take the into consideration the “Indicazioni Nazionali” (Italy’s National Curriculum for nursery and primary school):

http://www.indicazioninazionali.it/documenti_Indicazioni_nazionali/indicazioni_nazionali_infanzia_primo_ciclo.pdf (Indicazioni Nazionali 2012)

For personal (and optional) in-depth study, see:

- Masoni, L. (2019). Tale, performance and culture in EFL storytelling with young learners: Stories meant to be told. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

- Bland, J. (Ed.). (2015). Teaching English to young learners: critical issues in language teaching with 3-12 year olds. Bloomsbury Publishing.

- Cameron, L. 2001. Teaching Languages To Young Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

- Phillips, S. (1993). Young learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Teaching methods

During the workshops, students will be introduced to key principles and theories in language teaching to young learners, which will enable them to carry out group work successfully. Teaching methods will include: use of power point slides for background theory and general revision; analysis of authentic texts; group and individual work; collective writing practice. The following self-assessment tools will also be used during the course: peer tutoring exercises (i.e. writing practice corrected in class); flipped classroom presentations in which students will present and comment on collectively developed teaching activities. Students will receive regular feedforward from their tutor during writing practice and also during the development of original sets of materials/lessons/assessments.

Assessment methods

For the methodological and the mixed paths, there will be a final written exam, consisting of 2 methodological questions regarding topics covered during the workshops. This modality is now active for all the students who need to take the fourth-year exam, regardless of when they enrolled or attended the workshops. The tutor will provide everyone (including those who attended before 2020-2021) with all the necessary study material. The exam for the linguistic path will follow the format of the second-year exam (see Prof. Azzaro’s program). In order to pass the English exam (for the methodological and mixed path) students must demonstrate a good command of the English language (almost level B2), but above all confident command of grammar and syntax at A2 level. Other requirements include: ability to elaborate activities based on picturebooks and storytelling; a good command of key principles related to the use storytelling (e.g. choosing suitable texts, analysing their language and its relationship with illustrations). Answers to exam question should represent original and creative contributions. At the beginning of the workshops, students will be provided with an assessment sheet, which will be used to mark exams and assess collective writing practice.

There is no salto di appello.

The final mark will be IDONEO/NON IDONEO. There is no need for students to accept the result on Almaesami.

In order to take the exam, it is absolutely necessary for students to have enrolled on Almaesami. It is not possible to take any exam without formal enrolment. In case of problems with the enrolment process, students MUST CONTACT THE UFFICIO DIDATTICO BEFORE THE ENROLMENT DEADLINE. Once the enrolment lists are closed, no more students can be added.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations

Text analysis

Films, audio-books, videos, flashcards.

Office hours

See the website of Licia Masoni