Traditionally, teachers tell stories to their pupils. For me, it was my high school history and geography teacher who made me travel through Europe and in the whole world. Pupils, especially newly arrived pupils, can tell stories, and in turn, make us travel. Moreover, it was during the 70s/80s when the question of newcomer pupil's integration was first raised, and storytelling became significant in French schools. The educational use of stories and tales would make the transition period easier between the country of origin and the host country.
As I work and walk the world of Storytelling I always hear people say that Storytelling is making a comeback. Did it ever go? One question to ponder on!
When we talk about storytelling, we have to talk about listening as well. Listening is unseperable from telling. If the storyteller senses that the other does not pay attention, does not listen, he/she loses the motivation to tell his/her story.
Intergenerational communication can be seen as a kind of intercultural commincation, where people from different life cycles (children, young adults, old people) are in contat with eah other (Bahuaud, Deval et Pecolo, 2011).
When you are in the middle of an Erasmus+ project, an EU partnership as we are in at this moment, you sometimes tend to forget where you are doing it for. Deadlines seem to rule you, you are dreaming about Foundation Bricks, Intellectual Outputs, Transnational meetings etc. Say, about everything a regular human being would never dream about.
Being able to tell and being heard are the two pillars in the development of social skills. People that are able to express themselves will be heard. People that are heard will feel respected, their self-esteem will grow and they will be able to interact actively within society. Storytelling can help people to express themselves in a strong way.
The awareness of narrative structures can help people to tell their story in a way that others are willing to listen. You can easily train people in using narrative structures.
When we tell and listen to stories, we can almost feel our souls breathing fully and deeply. Our capacity to see options, to visualize possibilities, to imagine expands and we are somehow more alive."
In the framework of the Aladdin project senior volunteers will help - by using storytelling techniques - to develop different skills and competences in young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Together with 4 NGOs from other countries, we will start to develop a new method - using storytelling - to help with the social integration of young people with disadvantaged backgrounds. The work will start in September, 2015. The project is financed by Erasmus plus and coordinated by Elan Interculturel (France). Soon more details will be available.